An Interview with the writer of Ready, Set, Pet

Writer Laura Beck
credit: Laura Beck

Are you both a pet lover and a TV lover? Then get ready for the best new thing in the center of your personal love Venn diagram: Ready, Set, Pet.

The series, which airs on Saturday mornings on The CW, is dedicated to providing information for teens and their families about pet adoption, responsible pet ownership, and the importance of a green space for pets. Each episode of Ready, Set, Pet follows a different family through their own pet adoption process and how they determine the best pet for their specific situation and lifestyle. The families visit several different shelters and rescues in their area while experts give their backyards a pet-friendly makeover in anticipation of their new addition. Basically, Ready, Set, Pet is a visual guide to how to do pet adoption right.

We spoke to the show's writer, Laura Beck, about what it's like to create such an important, educational series, her favorite pet and family from the show, and more.

Tell us about Ready, Set, Pet—how would you describe the show to potential viewers in a single sentence?

Ready, Set, Pet is a warm, funny, interesting show about pet adoption! Every episode is a different family adopting a new dog or cat, as well as getting a pet-friendly makeover on their home or garden.

How did you get your job writing for Ready, Set, Pet and what advice do you have for other pet-lovers who want to break into TV writing?

I was lucky enough to know the wonderful show runner, Jason Ikeler, and he knows I have a background in both TV writing and pet adoption. In my early 20s, I worked at a dog rescue coordinating foster parents and so I spent a lot of time in the shelters and go to know a lot about adoption. It was a perfect combo of my interests and skills! I feel so lucky!

Which episode of Ready, Set, Pet has been your favorite to work on so far and why?

I love them all so much, and one of my favorites is definitely the episode with Dawn and her family — watching them first see the garden dedicated to her late wife made me cry. It was so beautiful! And they adopted the cutest dog, too!

As a writer, do you ever get to be on set during filming?

I was not on set, unfortunately! I'm in California and the show shoots on the east coast, so it wasn't super convenient. Plus, they gave me all the info I needed to craft fun and interesting episodes. I was given a rough cut of the footage and wrote the voiceover based off that.

Ready, Set, Pet does a great job of educating viewers about pet adoption and pet care. Is it ever stressful being responsible for helping educate people about such important topics?

I love it! Because of my past experience in animal rescue, I felt prepared. Plus, I learned a lot through doing research of the show, so it all meshed together really well.

Do you have any dogs of your own? If so, how have your own experiences as a pet owner shaped the work you do on the show?

Both of my dogs passed away last year—they were super old and it was time. I miss them every day! I've fostered since then, but not been ready to adopt. However, my husband and I talked it over and we're gonna adopt next month! I'm gonna Ready, Set, Pet myself!

What's your favorite thing about working on Ready, Set, Pet?

Not only do I get to spread the word about pet adoption and how awesome and necessary it is, but I also really like everyone who works on the show. It's such a nice, cool crew and I feel like part of the family even though I'm across the country!

What's the number one reason that people should be watching Ready, Set, Pet every week?

CUTE DOGS AND CATS! Hello!

What other writing projects are you working on?

I'm currently doing all sorts of writing— for magazines, blogs, startups, and other shows! My fingers hurt from typing but I love what I do and I'm thankful it lets me pay the rent.

Can you tell us any fun behind-the-scene details about working on a show about dogs?

Hmmm...all the animals on the show get adopted—so don't worry about them! Also, I loved learning all about how they re-home guide dogs that quite have what it takes to go home with a blind person. I really enjoy that they're called "career change" dogs!