Interview With Jasmine Dustin

Jasmine Dustin is a US actress and model who has been featured in GQ, Esquire, Maxim and Cosmo to name a few. She has featured in campaigns for Fredricks Of Hollywood, Lamborghini, Johnny Walker, William Rast and Duwop Cosmetics and may be recognized for her roles in popular TV shows such as CSI Miami , Deal or No Deal and Knight Rider. Look out for her alongside Christian Bale and Natalie Portman this year in Knight of Cups.

Jasmine is currently filming the second season of her semi-scripted reality show “Doheny Models”.

Kim O’Meara caught up with Jasmine to find out about her dogs and what's next for her animal charity, Models n' Mutts.

Tell us about your dogs - we'd like to know everything about them!

I have 4 rescue Chihuahua mixes ranging from 1-12 years old! My oldest Yogi is going on 12. He’s a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix. I’ve had him since moving to LA. He’s the cranky one around the house. He was used to being the only spoiled baby that ran the household - now he has 3 brothers and sister that came along many years later, he doesn’t like that. He’s the watch dog of the neighbourhood. He sits on the back of the couch all day long and watches the neighbourhood.

Stinker is 2 ½ years old and he’s a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix who was rescued hours before getting euthanized at the Downey shelter. His name is Stinker because he’s just that - a STINKER! He’s so bad, and that why I just love him so much. He goes around the house and steals every one of the bones from the other dogs and fits them all in his mouth. You’ll see him with 5 bones in his mouth at a time.

Peanut is 3 years old and a teacup Chihuahua. Her owner died of cancer and she was brought to the shelter. I was planning on fostering her, but we all know how that goes. Of course my husband and I fell in love. It’s a running joke that she’s my husband's girlfriend. She flirts with him all day long, its so sweet. She’s definitely the most spoiled of them all. She will bark and bark and bark until you pick her up to be on your lap. She’s the definition of a lap dog.

Minnie, well, she's my newest baby. Minnie is for Skinny Minnie. She is just a year old and is a deer Chihuahua. She looks like a baby Bambi. Her legs are almost as long and skinny as mine. I’ve never seen a Chihuahua like her. She was going to be killed at the Orange County shelter so I offered to go pick her up and foster her for a few days until the transport was arranged to her permanent home in Northern California. Well after day one she was attached at the hip. I couldn’t move without her following me.

She would cry if I left her for even a second. So needless to say she never made her flight to Northern California. She went from being very shy and timid to the household bully. She comes with me to my photo shoots from time to time and all the photographers just fall in love with her because of her long supermodel legs.

Interview With Jasmine Dustin

When did your interest in pets/animals begin and how long have you been a pet owner?

I’ve always had and loved animals but my true passion for helping them started about 6 years ago. I had a roommate who was a huge animal lover. She was a huge advocate for animals of all kind. She called me on the phone after she had moved out and asked me to please go on Facebook and look at this precious small Chihuahua that was about to be euthanized. She asked if I would please think about fostering it. So I went online and of course fell in love with the picture, so I left a message on the picture thread saying I’d foster the dog.

I got no response. So I went on and emailed the shelter in which the dog was located at. Again I got no response. I spent the next 2 days trying to message everyone that had posted this dog asking for a foster. No response, nothing. I woke up Sunday morning and of course checked my Facebook and there was this dogs eyes staring back at me from the screen with the caption ”KILLED”. I was honestly beside myself.

I sat for hours and hours and just cried. I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. So, from that point on I knew I had to do something for these poor helpless animals being put to sleep at shelters.

Your career has been so varied to date from your modeling and acting, as well as DJ'ing. What, or perhaps who, inspired you to follow the career path you chose?

At a very young age I knew I wanted to be in front of the camera. I started doing beauty pageants at the age of 6 and always won Miss Congeniality (Best in Pictures). After years of pageants, I started doing local photo shoots in and around the Boston area. I knew that when I turned 18 I was going to go and pursue my dream of becoming a full time model, and that’s what I did.

I packed up 3 suitcases and hoped on a plane with my high school sweetheart and headed to Los Angeles where we knew nobody!

Within a very short time I had booked the campaign for Fredrick’s of Hollywood with a billboard on Hollywood Boulevard. After that I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. Los Angeles was now going to be my home. I traveled far and wide to different countries for modeling. It wasn’t until I booked the hit NBC show Deal or No Deal that I realised that I love being on a TV set.

After my season on Deal or No Deal that's when I began pursuing acting as well as my modeling. Everything seemed to fall into place. I was blessed to work with some incredible actors my first couple years acting in television and film.

It wasn’t until 2011 that a manager from New York contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in training to be a celebrity DJ. This company was based in New York and only represented well known fashion models. They were opening a new branch of model DJ’s here in LA, so I signed on. I trained for 6 months with them and then began to do gigs allover for some of the top night clubs.

I've always said I never wanted to be just a model or just an actress…I wanted to be a personality, and that’s why I enjoy doing a little bit of everything.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 or 10 years time?

In 5 years I still see myself being here in Los Angeles doing what I love most - being on set. In 10 years time though, I plan to be in Florida closer to my family living on a ranch with lots of land for my own animal rescue.

Using your modeling fame, you co-founded Models n' Mutts. Tell us a little about your animal rescue and plans for the future.

I started Models n' Mutts last year with my partner, Gina Hendrix. Models n' Mutts is an organization of well-known models who all have the same passion and love for helping animals in need. The models use their fame to bring awareness on how important it is to adopt animals from local shelters. Money donated and raised through charity events goes to rescuing dogs in high kill shelters, transportation of animals to other states for adoption, food for local shelters and medical costs of special needs animals.

We held our launch party last November which benefited the animals of Hurricane Sandy. We also donated money to different rescues who had special needs dogs fighting for their lives.

We plan on doing 3-4 large events throughout the year to raise money for different animal rescue and organizations. Along with the larger events we also do food drives for local rescues and dog adoptions.

There are over 100,000 dogs in UK rescues waiting for new homes. What would you say to anyone thinking about getting a new dog to encourage them to consider adopting a dog?

I think its so important for people to bring awareness to this issue. Most people are not aware of all the animals that are being euthanized in the shelters. People should not be allowed to buy dogs from pet stores, animals should always be adopted form your local shelter or rescue.

Dogs that come out of the shelters tend to be the most loving animals you’ll ever come across. They’re just dying for someone to give them love and attention. My goal this year is to bring more awareness to this issue. Unfortunately with most people its out of sight out of mind...I really want to change that.

Do you have a motto that you live your life by? What would you say your dog's mottos might be?

Wow, well mine would be 'you only live once so live life to the fullest' and I think my dogs would be 'if you leave your plate unattended, it's mine for the taking!'.

If you were to swap roles with one of your dogs for a day, how do you think they'd cope being you and what would you love most about being them?

Oh boy, I don’t think my dogs would do to good being me for the day. My day consists of a driving all over town from audition to audition...my dogs tend to hate the car. Except for my littlest one, Minnie. They certainly wouldn’t go for my usual pick of a salad for lunch. They're not too big on greens (laughs).

I’d love to be them for a day. I’d get spoiled with love, eat and sleep…sounds pretty good to me.

For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...

Tyra Banks (host of ANTM) – I think she'd be a Weimaraner.

Christian Bale – I think he'd be a Greyhound!

Hilary Swank – Oh wow, maybe a Border Terrier.

David Beckham – I think he'd be a Pitbull.

Which do you prefer and why?

Big dogs or little dogs – I just love small dogs. I think it's because 70% of shelter dogs here in LA are Chihuahuas so I've grown to just absolutely love them.

Pedigree dogs or cross-breeds – Hands down cross-breeds. They all have such great personalities and a love for life. Mutts for life!

Days off or days at work – Definitely days at work. I love to be on set working. When you love what you do, you never want to stop. If I have more then a few days without working, I start to go crazy.

Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw one of your dogs, or another dog do.

(Laughs) Well, with 4 dogs in the house that usually happens on a daily basis. A few weeks ago I searched and searched the house for Peanut. She was nowhere to be found. After panicking for almost an hour, I found her in the back of my closet in the dresser where all my t shirts were.

She had pulled every single shirt out and had buried herself in the very bottom of the pile. All you could see was one little brown eye peeking out. Needless to say I find myself refolding my laundry quite often these days. That’s her new spot.

Interview With Jasmine Dustin

What is your current favourite…?

TV show – I'm loving American Horror Stories.

Book – Like a lot of women right now, it has to be Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Album – Hands down, my favourite artist is Tim McGraw.

Film – I love Sweet November and of course my all time favourite is Pretty Women.

Tell us something no one else knows about you.

I may be skinny but I love, love, love to eat! I am a huge foodie. I tend to make people sick with how much food I can eat.

If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?

There’s nothing better then coming home to your dogs. They are the most intuitive creatures. They always know when you are happy or sad. The second a tear is shed, my dogs are by my side...it's amazing. They truly are a man (or woman's) best friend.

Finish the following sentence, my dogs are...my pride and joy!

And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If your dogs had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say?

I think if I could ask them all one question it would be “do you feel okay?'.

I get so nervous especially with my senior dog if everything inside is ok. As humans we have the ability to go to the doctors and make ourselves better when we are sick. Dogs are voiceless. You always hear these stories about how dogs had been living with cancer for years without their owners knowing. I would hate for any of my animals to ever be in pain without me knowing.

Many Thanks Jasmine!

Jasmine Was Speaking With Kim O'Meara

K9 Magazine Would Like To Say Thanks To....

Photography By Darin Burch

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