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Kate Upton, Justin Verlander


Kate Upton has three dogs, but truth be told she'd like a lot more.

"I would love to have 10 dogs," the supermodel told me earlier today.

But it's her boyfriend, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who has to reign in Upton's enthusiasm.

"Justin is definitely an animal lover but he is definitely holding me back from my 10 dogs," Upton said. "He is putting a three-dog limit on it."

On Thursday, Upton is hosting Grand Slam Adoption before the Tigers vs. Yankees spring training game at Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida to raise awareness about shelter dogs. The event kicks off in the morning and includes dog adoption, family-friendly activities and a virtual silent auction benefiting SPCA Florida and K9s For Warriors, an organization that pairs service dogs with war veterans.

Kate Upton, Justin Verlander

JLM / Splash News

"I'm a huge animal lover and I've always been," Upton said. "I was raised with dogs and horses and they were a huge part of my life. So getting in and supporting a cause for adopting dogs and bringing awareness to how great shelter dogs are and how important animals are to bringing people together, for happiness and for healing, it was an obvious choice for me."

At last year's event, seven dogs were adopted on the spot and even more later on.

"This event is really awesome because the dogs enjoy running around and meeting new people and getting out of the shelter for a little bit," Upton said.

There's a lot more to Upton and Verlander's relationship than just their love of dogs. The two have been together for three years.

"It seems like forever in Hollywood, right?" Upton said with a laugh.

It sure does. "For us, we always try and work on our communication," Upton says of their staying power. "We're very open with one another and we're each others best friends. He's definitely my best friend, so I think that helps a lot."