Before Ryan Sweeting, there was Norman, Kaley Cuoco’s rescued pit bull, whom she adopted well before she was a star on The Big Bang Theory. Cuoco told The Humane Society of the United States in an August 2014 interview that it was adopting Norman, a pit bull, eight years before that had really kicked her animal advocacy into high gear.
Now, Cuoco’s moved on from her separation from Ryan Sweeting by bringing a new fur love into her life — a white ball of fluff called Chester Cuoco. As Us Weekly reported, Cuoco made the announcement on her Instagram page by showing off pictures of her cuddling the family’s new addition. She emphasized her support for rescue by using the hashtag “save them all.”
If Chester looks a little familiar to Cuoco fans, that may be for good reason — by his coloring and size alone he could almost be biologically related to Cuoco’s last rescue, a dog named Ruby. Ruby came home in June of 2014 after Cuoco met her during an E! News shoot at the West Valley Animal Shelter.
Chester is actually the second new fur baby to enter Kaley’s life after her split from Sweeting. Their divorce was announced on September 25, and Cuoco was soon showing off her new horse Zaza. In addition to her role as guardian to rescue animals, Cuoco is a competitive equestrian.
Back in January 2015, Cuoco wrote in Los Angeles Magazine that her horses and dogs are actually not that different from one another. They are also an important part of her life.
“I have five horses. My first was a professional jumper named Santos. I got him when I was 18. People don’t realize that horses are like dogs. At the stable, when I call Santos’s name, he’ll start moving around in his stall, whinnying, and is so excited. He’s like, Mama’s here! The bond between a person and a horse is like nothing else—it’s hard for people to understand unless they have one. Riding is the Zen part of my week. There are no cell phones—you can’t think outside of that moment. Acting isn’t easy for me by any means, but riding is such a challenge.”
Cuoco often keeps fans updated on her equestrian career by posting clips of her competitions on her Instagram page.
Kaley Cuoco filed for divorce from Sweeting, whom she married on New Year’s Eve in 2013, in September. As Us Weekly reported, Sweeting subsequently requested spousal support from the Big Bang Theory star.
In an ironic twist, it turns out Kaley had revealed in a late 2013 interview with Craig Ferguson before her nuptials that her love of animals might have a big role in the wedding. As Us Weekly recalled, Cuoco joked that she might ride into the ceremony on one of her horses and thought of making the cake to resemble her dogs.
Kaley’s equestrian career is particularly impressive given a freak accident in 2010 that nearly cost Cuoco her foot. As the Daily Mail reported in 2012, Cuoco fell off her horse who then panicked and trampled her. Two surgeries and metal bars repaired the damage.
Some fans have been quick to question whether Cuoco has truly put her romantic endeavors behind her after her split from Sweeting. She and her Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki — whom she once dated — took to social media to deny they’d gotten back together.
[Main photo Rachel Murray/Getty Images Entertainment]