'Housewives' star brings cause — and dog — to Capitol
© Courtesy Alcee Hastings

Lisa Vanderpump says reality TV isn’t just about drama-filled boozy battles and table-flipping antics — it can, in fact, help bring a cause to Congress.

The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star traded 90210 for the Capitol on Wednesday for a briefing to raise awareness about the global dog meat trade and China’s annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival, in which thousands of dogs are killed a year.


“As much as we look at reality television and we think, ‘Well, what good comes out of it?’ I managed to get my Yulin march on it. And I begged [Bravo], please put it on,” says Vanderpump, whose advocacy work was featured on the show last season.

“It’s not something that Bravo would normally do, take a political stance. But I said this isn’t political, it’s unanimous, it’s bipartisan. So we put it on reality television,” the British restaurateur told ITK.

Vanderpump says, although the “Real Housewives” cameras weren’t allowed to document her remarks at the Capitol Visitor Center, viewers can expect to see more about her work in Washington on the show’s upcoming seventh season. She brought her own cameras — along with her dog, Giggy, who boasts 100,000 Twitter followers — and plans on sharing the footage with the show.

“You will see a little bit this season, not as much as I’d like. Because as you know, I said in my last tag line, ‘I’m passionate about dogs, not crazy about bitches.’ I’d like to have more time.”

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who hosted the briefing, says he doesn’t expect a bill he introduced earlier this year, which urges China to end its dog meat trade and condemns the festival, will pass this session.

“We really want China to understand that, for the first time now, the United States is going to take a stand,” says Dr. John Sessa, executive director of the Vanderpump Dog Foundation. “We’re going to say we understand what you’re doing, and we can’t condone this any longer.”

Hastings says he’s optimistic about the resolution’s chances at the beginning of the next session, telling ITK he’s going to talk “to every damn congressperson and every damn senator” to push it through.

Although he might not be in the target demo for the “Real Housewives” franchises, Hastings, 80, admits he’s a bit of a series groupie.

“I have watched Lisa and I watched the Atlanta crowd. And a good friend of mine, [“Real Housewives of Miami’s”] Lia Black is in the one in Miami,” Hastings says.

“So I watch a lot of this stuff,” he says with a laugh before adding that he and Vanderpump “are on the same page when it comes to cruelty to dogs.”