Inside the Lives of the World's Most Influential Pets—Because Pictures of Adorable Animals Are What You Need Right Now

The world's top animal influencers came together for a weekend in NYC at Pet Con 2017, and we have the awww-inspiring results

By Rebecca Macatee Nov 21, 2017 3:00 PMTags
PetCon NYCCourtesy Rebecca Macatee

Tuna, Toast and the world's most famous weenies all came together in one place this weekend—but it definitely wasn't at a diner.

Rather, these social media superstars were all in New York for Pet Con 2017, a two-day event featuring dozens of celebrity pet influencers (aka "petfluencers").

Just like conventions featuring humans, like Comic Con or CinemaCon, the weekend featured panels with Q&As, meet-and-greets, clothing boutiques, prize raffles and more. Foster Dogs NYC was on site with adorable canines looking for their new homes. Tails were wagging, "likes" were flying and a doggone good time was had by everyone—even the cats.

Most Famous Pets on the Net

"Everybody's really gotten along great," Loni Edwards, a PetCon moderator and founder of The Dog Agency, told E! News exclusively. "We even have a cat and a hamster in the photo booth together right now!"

She wasn't kidding, either: A longhaired Syrian hamster named Magnus had an impromptu cuddle session with Pistachio.

a kitty and a hamster walk into a photo booth #petcon @_porkchopthecat_

A post shared by PetCon (@petconofficial) on

"They just hung out and lounged," said Magnus' owner, Vicki. "Pistachio didn't try to eat him! Nobody killed each other. It was a beautiful moment."

There were many beautiful moments at PetCon with the famed four-legged stars. We even got a chance to chat with these awesome animals about the ups and downs of celebrity life, their ultimate career goals and what advice they would give to other aspiring petfluencers.



Claim to fame: 1.9 million Instagram followers, best-selling book, Traveling Tuna blog, line of clothing (for humans) and home goods

Likes: Tuna "has no idea who he is or that he's famous," his human tells us. "He just enjoys sleeping under the covers and eating cookies when he gets up. I do think he gets a lot of fun gifts and products which he really enjoys."

Dislikes: Strangers touching his face.

Goals: To become "the ambassador for traveling…and to offer guides for the best pet-friendly accommodations, where to go, where to eat, where to sleep—that kind of thing."

Advice: "Celebrate who you are, and embrace your differences. Tuna has a lot of unconventional physical qualities about himself—[like] showing his teeth and his little shrivel neck, but he embraces them. Beauty really comes in all forms!"

Reese Lightning of Harlow and Sage


Claim to fame: 1.6 million Instagram followers, two best-selling books, exclusive line of T-shirts (for humans) and plush toys.

Likes: "All the treats."

Dislikes: Being away from her sisters, Harlow and Indiana Thunderbolt. Plus, "Reese is kind of shy," said her human. "So at big events like this one, she can get a little overwhelmed."

Goals: TBD. As her human explained, "We just try to keep their lives really normal and comfortable."

Advice: "Just have fun and be candid. That's what we did."

Toast Meets World


Claim to fame: 378K Instagram followers, best-selling book, line of T-shirts and totes, famous dad (@thefatjewish)

Likes: "All the travel and staying in fancy hotels. You never know what they're going to surprise you with—one place spelled 'Toast' in chicken." 

Dislikes: None. As her human said, "She gets lots of love and attention—there's not really a downside to fame."

Goals: Advocating with her sisters @muppetsrevenge (pictured above left) and @underpantsthedog (right) "on getting New York City to ban pet stores." As Toast's mom and publicist Katie Sturino said, "All three of the pups are rescue pups—they're all from puppy mills which feed pet stores and online puppy websites. New York City is one of the last major cities to ban pet stores, so we're working on that right now." Also, Toast's "ultimate goal" is to have a toy created in her likeness.

Advice: "Stick with it. It's tough."

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund


Claim to fame: 439K Instagram followers, 2.1 million Facebook fans, 1.1 billion Facebook video views, best-selling book (with another in the works) and an extensive line of merchandise (T-shirts, leggings, aprons, coozies, bags, pillows, garden flags, etc.).

Likes: "All the cool adventures."

Dislikes: "None—except maybe, sometimes, the paparazzi."

Goals: "Probably to get a TV show, actually," said his human, "or his own little mini-series." Crusoe would also enjoy spending the day with a giraffe "because he wishes he were taller."

Advice: "Don't give up. Have fun. Take lots of pictures, and make it an adventure!"

Hamlet the Piggy


Claim to fame: 314K Instagram followers, Etsy shop, calendar (in the works).

Likes: Her sister Pumbaa (pictured above right), making new friends, dressing up and "living the spoiled life."

Dislikes: Bacon. Hamlet's human doesn't allow any pork products in their home. 

Goals: "To do a book of all [our] fun adventures…maybe a coffee table book!"

Advice: "Do what makes you happy!"

Sunglass Cat


Claim to fame: 104K Instagram followers, ultimate cool cat status.

Likes: Travel, fashion, other cats, dogs, people and spreading awareness for other special needs pets.

Dislikes: Extreme cold. Sunglass Cat (real name: Bagel) is unable to regulate her body temperature, so she wears clothes in cooler temperatures to keep warm.

Goals: "To make enough money as Grumpy [Cat, aka Tardar Sauce] so we can open a shelter and rescue—and buy thousands and thousands of acres and just keep rescuing as many animals as possible."

Advice: "Consider [adopting] older special needs animals…They just need a little extra care and nurture, but they deserve to be adopted and loved just as the other ones do."

Chloe Kardoggian

@chloekardoggian (she's the tongue-wagger)

Claim to fame: 152K Instagram followers, Kardoggian line of merchandise, memoir (in the works).

Likes: "Making new friends [like @thelilgremlins, on either side]…and getting to help other dogs find homes."

Dislikes: Being put on "bump watch." As Chloe's human said, "She's been fixed, so there will be no Kardoggian babies here!" 

Goals: "To be the most famous of all the Kardoggians…and to meet Khloe Kardashian, of course."

Advice: Stay away from puppy mills and the rumor mill.

Ella Bean


Claim to fame: 105K Instagram followers, multiple international modeling campaigns.

Likes: "100 percent, the best part of being famous is that we get to raise money for rescue organizations and help other puppies find homes forever."

Dislikes: "All the travel. It really takes a toll!"

Goals: "Well, she was just on the back cover of the Neiman Marcus shoe and handbag catalog, and that was a pretty big life goal," said Ms. Bean's human. "I think next is maybe print edition of Vogue."

Advice: "You have to truly be yourself, and let your personality shine through the phones."

Louboutina, aka "Loubie" the Hugging Dog


Claim to fame: 182K Instagram followers, infinite golden hugs.

Likes: "Getting to meet so many different people and spreading love everywhere we go and all around the world [on social media]."

Dislikes: None, although Loubie's human admitted "She's kind of taken over her dad's personal life. Walks aren't the same anymore. Everyone wants to meet her and hug her! But, it's lots of love, so it's good."

Goals: Loubie "would love to be considered an ambassador of love," said her human. "She is already a symbol of love and tolerance, but if she could help more with it, that would be a goal."

Advice: "Just be yourself. Don't over produce, don't over stage. Every pet is beautiful—just enhance what is unique about you as a pet, and don't forget to be a normal pet as well."



Hanging with Reese Lightning

Rukas the Cat


91-0 in staring contests.

Pip Puddleglum


And, you're welcome.

All of these pampered pets have loving homes and are really livin' the life now, but that wasn't always the case.

Courtesy Rebecca Macatee

Many of the amazing, relentlessly photogenic animals in attendance were once rescues themselves and now use their platforms to promote pet adoption. Dr. Alice Weiss, a D.C.-based veterinarian and PetInsider consultant, is very happy to see this happening.

"The animal-human bond is really an amazing thing, and it comes in every color and form," Dr. Weiss told E! News. "And while we may think we're saving them, the animals are actually the ones enhancing our lives.

"There are real facts to what happens when you interact with an animal in terms of people's health. Cortisol levels go down, and certain hormones like oxytocin go up. You get this physiological reaction."

Animal ownership, of course, is a big responsibility that shouldn't be taken on lightly, so for those not quite ready to be pet parents themselves, following the lives of your favorite petfluencers online has its benefits, too.

"A lot of people can't have pets now," Dr. Weiss says, "so to have these social media interactions...that give you almost the same version of that physiological reaction is a really great thing."