Hallmark's Ryan Paevey is an Advocate for Pet Adoption on and off Screen

Ryan Paevey and Taylor Cole star in Matching Hearts but their animal co-stars will steal your heart.

Ryan Paevey with cat
Photo: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/ Allister Foster

February is for lovers and Hallmark Channel is leaning into love. Our favorite TV network has deemed this to be Love Ever After Month and will present four new romantic comedies, four new Adoption Ever After specials, the return of When Calls the Heart, and the world television premiere of When Hope Calls.

One such offering fuses two of these themes together in the brand-new movie Matching Hearts. While stars Taylor Cole and Ryan Paevey may fall in love, it's their animal co-stars that will steal your heart. Cole's character Julie is a professional matchmaker who sees a challenge in the new-to-town, single, entrepreneur and is determined to retain him as a client and find his perfect match. That entrepreneur is Daniel, played by Paevey, and he has come to town to open a rescue pet adoption center. Adorable cats and pups play prominent roles throughout the movie.

If you are an avid Hallmark movie watcher, you'll probably remember that this is not the first film Paevey has been in where pups take center stage. He had a starring role in both Unleashing Mr. Darcy, and the follow up Marrying Mr. Darcy where love blossoms in the world of competitive show dogs. We had a hunch that Paevey may have a soft spot for his furry, four-legged co-stars.

Southern Living recently spoke with Paevey and he has confirmed that he is, in fact, crazy about canines. "I love 'em. I love 'em. I love 'em," he said emphatically. While filming Matching Hearts, Paevey was thrilled to have so many four-legged new friends on set and told us that whenever he meets a new dog, everything else just stops. "It's like a total physical, verbal transformation when I'm around them. It's like baby talk, and I'm lying on the ground, and I'm covered in dog hair and dirt," he said. Then adding, "I form an attachment to every animal. Literally no way for me to not do that. And I'm super bummed when they're like no that's my dog. You have to give that back." Hallmark stars, they're just like us! We get it Ryan, we do.

Now, given this background information, you might assume Paevey has a whole pack of dogs at home. Not the case, not yet anyway. "No knock against anyone who lives in an apartment and has pets or anything like that. But I always told myself that since I didn't already have one, I would wait until I had a house and some space for them to go and play…I'm in the midst of that process right now. So, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a pup of my own in my future. But now, no I do not have one. I just steal everybody I know's dog as long as possible."

That light at the end of the tunnel isn't that far away. Paevey just purchased a plot of land near one of his favorite parks and hiking trails. He and his father plan to build a home for him and his future pup. One thing is certain, when the time comes, the pooch for Paevey will be a shelter dog. "I'm definitely an adopt don't shop kind of guy. I feel like there are plenty out there that need a place to be. And if you have a place to bring one and you want a dog already, how is this not a win-win situation for everybody? There's plenty of pups out there that need a home…There's one out there for you. Just go look."

WATCH: 7-Year-Old Boy Has Helped Rescue More Than 1,400 Dogs from Southern Kill Shelters

Paevey also divulged to us that he is currently single. We think it's safe to say that anyone vying to be his Valentine must love dogs.

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