When animal lover Izabella St. James first clapped eyes on pugs Lewis and Clark in the late summer of 2017, she was appalled. The experienced rescuer knew the over-heated and neglected dogs she saw in the dust and dirt of a California yard were at death’s door. As a champion of the breed, she decided to make the pugs’ owner an offer that he couldn’t refuse. But, unbelievably, that is exactly what he did. Heartbroken at not being able to save the dogs’ lives, St. James was forced to leave the lot empty handed and full of tears.
The 42-year-old actress and author St. James has had a fascinating life. Born in Communist Poland, her family escaped to Greece when she was small before traveling to Canada. After university there, St. James settled in California to study law and began dating Playboy head honcho Hugh Hefner. Indeed, she covered that time in her life in a memoir, Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion, published in 2006. These days, however, St. James is known to her legion of fans as The Pug Queen.