10 Questions with Jill Rappaport, Animal Advocate and Broadcaster

Jill Rappaport with one of her horses
Jill Rappaport with one of her horses, Photo: Christopher Appoldt

Water Mill resident, award-winning animal advocate and NBC correspondent Jill Rappaport has been quite busy pushing her latest campaign to promote pet adoption and animal welfare. And for those willing to participate, it’s as easy as pie. “Jill Rappaport’s Pies 4 Paws Challenge” is sweeping the nation and picking up more celebrities, organizations and shelters every day.

Like the phenomenally successful “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which asked celebs and regular folks to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads in the name of ALS research,  Jill Rappaport’s Pies 4 Paws Challenge is spreading its message of animal advocacy and adoption by asking participants to take a pie in the face (or eat one), post the video or photographic evidence to social media with the hashtag #JillRappaportsPies4Paws, then make a donation online to American Humane Association (or another participating animal welfare org) or adopt, in the name of P4P, and challenge friends and colleagues to do the same.

People magazine’s website PeoplePets.com recently featured a video of talk show host and Hamptons resident Meredith Vieira and her dog Jasper being covered in pie and then challenging Betty White and fellow Hamptonites Matt Lauer and Howard and Beth Stern.

Rappaport has won numerous honors for her staunch animal advocacy, especially promoting the adoption and rescue of shelter dogs, cats and horses. Early next year Rappaport will launch her much-anticipated Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport primetime show, which she promises will be “Westminster for shelter pets and a game-changer for animals in need.”

She is the proud pet parent of five rescue dogs and seven horses, which she keeps on her farm in Water Mill.

10 Questions with Jill Rappaport, Animal Advocate and Broadcaster

1. Favorite book?
It happens to be one of mine, Jack an Jill: A Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail to Tell. Jack was my German Shepherd who became the “Ambassadog of Hope” for animal cancer. His triumphant battle with bone cancer changed my life and career forever. This was the children’s book I wrote about him, and his story continues to teach people of all ages about compassion and resilience. Jack taught me when life throws you a curve ball, you can still hit it out of the park and win the game!

2. The last thing that took your breath away?
When my most recent rescue Stanley, a standard poodle, first walked into my home. He rolled over and then literally jumped up and hugged me! No kidding, and he clung to me for a good minute, as if to say, “Thank you! Thank you!”

3. The last thing that made you cry?
When I lost my beloved lab Buck to cancer this past July. A piece of my heart definitely went with my special boy.

4. It’s the eve of your execution… What would be your last meal?
I would hope I would never do anything that warrants execution! But if I did I don’t think I could eat.

5. Something worth fighting for?
Animals, always!

6. Something worth giving up?
Money—to give to animals in need.

7. Spend an afternoon with anyone—alive or dead—who would it be?
Robert Redford. (I didn’t even take a breath before I answered that!)

8. An interesting object in your home or office?
An 18-foot-long poster of my five rescue dogs and me! Mainline Animal Rescue in Pennsylvania made this incredible banner as a tribute, when I was honored by this wonderful shelter in 2012.

9. Last film you watched?
The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford. If I got my wish in Question 7, I could spent the afternoon watching him with him—now that just took my breath away!

10. What the coolest thing you’ve bought for your dogs and horses?
My farm, their forever home.

To learn more about Jill Rappaport’s Pies 4 Paws Challenge, visit americanhumane.org.

Georgina Bloomberg takes Jill Rappaport's Pies 4 Paws Challenge at the Hampton Classic
Georgina Bloomberg takes Jill Rappaport’s Pies 4 Paws Challenge at the Hampton Classic, Photo Courtesy Jill Rappaport

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