Katherine Schwarzenegger’s rescue dog Maverick inspires her

People who adopt pets from several animal shelters across the country this month will find adoption fees waived, thanks to Katherine Schwarzenegger, Best Friends Animal Society, Bounty Paper Towels and a rescue dog named Maverick.Maverick and his littermates were about 3 weeks old when rescued from under a freeway overpass in downtown Los Angeles back in 2013. Schwarzenegger had just graduated from college and was living with her mom, Maria Shriver, when she and her sister agreed to foster the pups — in their mom’s garage.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Your dog is as smart as a two-year old! Ever wonder why children around this age seem to have a special bond with the family dog? It could be because they speak the same language, roughly 250 words and gestures in fact.

Image: Today - Season 68Katherine Schwarzenegger and mother Maria Shriver on Sept. 4, 2019 Nathan Congleton / NBC
“We had eight different puppies at different times over a four-month period,” Schwarzenegger told TODAY. “It was such a rewarding experience to be able to get these little puppies, nurse them back to health and find them loving forever homes.”Maverick pulled at her heartstrings because he was sick and required extra time and care, like feeding him though a syringe.

“I became very attached to him and just could not imagine having him be adopted by anybody else. I just fell in love with him,” she said. “That introduced me to the whole world of animal rescue and all of the amazing work that organizations like Best Friends Animal Society do.”

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Now Maverick — who inspired Schwarzenegger to write the children’s book “Maverick and Me” — is an important part of Schwarzenegger’s family, which includes her husband, Chris Pratt, and their 1-year-old daughter, Lyla Maria. (Baby No. 2 is on the way.)