Kaley Cuoco Finds Peace and Beauty With Her Rescued Animals on Her Scenic Ranch

The star bought the ranch just north of L.A. about six years ago and takes in any animal in need: "We don’t turn anyone away. It’s become this magical place"

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Actress Kaley Cuoco is ready to talk animals—rescued ones, to be exact.

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Among the menagerie at her ranch in Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles, are horses, donkeys, chickens, goats, cows and pigs. All are now family for the Based on a True Story star, 38, who bought the property about six years ago and built everything from the ground up, including a petting zoo and contemporary chandeliers for the vast barn.

“Obviously I rescue dogs, and everyone knows that about me, but I’ve really expanded to farm animals and even Thoroughbreds and horses off the track,” says the actress. “Really anything with four legs is welcome here. We don’t turn anyone away. It’s become this magical place.”

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Having grown up around horses, Cuoco knew she needed to acclimate her 1-year-old daughter Matilda, whom she shares with her partner, actor Tom Pelphrey, 41, to animals almost immediately after she was born.

“I’ve introduced her to every single horse. She has a pony here that is waiting for her when she is big enough to ride,” says the Flight Attendant star. “But no matter if she ends up riding or not, it’s a great place for a kid to learn responsibility, having chores, taking care of the animals and seeing how they live together.”

Related: Kaley Cuoco Celebrates Daughter Matilda's First Birthday with Boyfriend Tom Pelphrey: 'Best Year of Our Lives'

The ranch also offers refuge for Cuoco when she needs a buffer between herself and Hollywood. “I come out here, and there’s no phone. The animals are all running up to you,” she adds. “It feels like an honor to have this space.”

The property also helped seal the deal with Cuoco and Pelphrey, who began dating in 2022. “Well, when I cyberstalked Tom and did a deep dive on his Instagram, and every photo had this big German shepherd in it, I knew there was some sort of love there for dogs,” recalls the Oh Norman! cofounder.

Related: Kaley Cuoco Says She and Tom Pelphrey Cry Over Small Moments with Their Baby Daughter (Exclusive)

After the two met, Pelphrey told the actress how much he wished he could have even more animals. “He came out to visit me right when we started dating, and I was like, ‘I want to bring you to this place.’ It’s hard to describe to someone, right? He came out here, and the look on his face when he got to meet all the animals—he said, ‘I never could have imagined this.’ ”

Six dogs later, “he knew that it was going to be a big part of our life.”

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Among her favorite animals?

“Oh, my goats. They are so hysterical. Well, no, I love my two cows too, Connie and Ronnie,” Cuoco says. “The goats live with the pigs, who live with the chickens, who live with the ducks. They actually all live together with the mini horses and with our dwarf ponies as well, and it’s kind of beautiful.”

The unconditional love she receives means everything to the actress.

<p>Brian Bowen Smith</p>

Brian Bowen Smith

“They love you no matter what. We’ve taken animals out of terrible situations, and to see the growth in how they thrive here, they’re all so happy,” she says. “To be able to give them that second chance at life. A lot of them are so much older, and it’s like living out their golden days here. It means the world to me to be able to give them that.”

Cuoco’s new pet-care brand Oh Norman!, which was inspired by her beloved dog Norman, a pit bull mix who died in January 2021 at the age of 14, features eco-friendly, durable and safe products such as liquid supplements, dog bowls, dog placemats, treats, toys and clothing.

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"Being able to launch with the right people and coming out with this line, I always wanted to do this," she explains. "I obviously love dogs. I love dog products. I'm a consumer like everybody else. And I also wanted a percentage of these purchases go towards rescue. That was such a big deal for me."

Related: Kaley Cuoco Shares Cute Moments with Tom Pelphrey and Daughter Matilda: 'When Dada Gets Home'

The actress hopes to continue to grow the company, "similar to what the Honest Co. has done for babies. That is kind of my goal for what Oh Norman! could do for dogs," she says. "I hope I'm sitting here talking with you in a few years and we're like, 'We've given millions back to rescue.' That's the dream."

Norman "changed my life,” adds Cuoco. “There’s nothing like that love. These dogs come from these horrible situations, and Norman did. He came from the worst you could imagine, and he was my boy for 13 years. I mean, I named my production company after him. I named my pet line after him. He lives on forever."

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The actress recalls "being at the lowest of the low, I don't know, three years ago and Norman was there with me. And I mean, laying on the floor, you have those moments and they're just there," she says. 'And then if you wake up the next day and you're fine, they're there for you. It's very special. And there's no judgment. They just are there 24/7."

Looking around her ranch, Cuoco catches her breath. “It makes me emotional because this place has brought a lot of joy to my family and my friends,” she says. “It’s kind of an open-door policy. Go in, bring an apple, you’re more than welcome.”

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From playing catch with her father to someday teaching Matilda to ride, Cuoco never takes a day on the property for granted. “We sit outside and just look at the view and have a glass of wine, and then it’s 8 p.m. because there’s no time here,” she adds. “This was my dream. And we brought it to life.”

Photographer Brian Bowen Smith

Cinematographer Eric Longden

Hair Kiki Heitkotter/Balmain Hair Care/T3 Tools/The Wall Group

Makeup Jamie Greenberg/Jamie Makeup/The Wall Group

Stylist Brad Goreski/The Wall Group


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