07/07/2010 at 12:43 PM EDT
Trista Sutter's dogs Natasha and Tank
are so important in her life with husband Ryan Sutter that the Bachelorette
star cuddles and plays with the pooches – despite her severe allergies to them.
"I would get hives the instant that Ryan would touch me after petting Natasha," Sutter tells PEOPLEPets.com. "But I get past that and push through because I love them so much. Push through and wash my hands a lot."
Sutter, the new spokesperson for Purina and Kroger's Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart
campaign, has had to make sacrifices over the years to be close to her pets, but it's all worth it for the animal fan. Natasha, an 11-year-old Siberian husky, and Tank, a 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier, factor greatly into the household dynamic, which includes the Sutters' human children, Max and Blakesley.
"Max's first words were ball and dog," Sutter says. "Tash is one of Blakesley's first words. I really can't imagine living without them."
The importance of being good to animals is a lesson Sutter thinks her children have already learned, and one she wants to continue teaching them as they grow. Inspired in part by her connection to the Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart campaign, which will eventually donate $150,000 to 18 animal welfare organizations around the country, Sutter hopes to start volunteering at a local animal shelter with her husband and children.
As for whether she plans to add to her furry brood, Sutter demures. "I've got my hands full with two under 3 years old and two babies with fur– but you never know. We love animals, so we would always consider bringing another into our house."Share your own tale and check out other stories from around the country on TalesforthePetLoversHeart.com.Read more about animal-loving celebrities on PEOPLEPets.com:VIDEO: How Kelly Ripa's Kids Share Doggie Duty VIDEO: Kellie Pickler's Pets Rule the Tour Bus