Kaley Cuoco loves living outside Hollywood on her ranch: 'Great place for a kid to grow up'

Kaley Cuoco is most at home when she’s surrounded by her dogs, horses, cows, chickens and even her zonkey (a half-zebra, half-donkey).  The former "Big Bang Theory" actress bought her ranch north of Hollywood, California, in Thousand Oaks a handful of years ago.  "I wanted something away from L.A.," the 38-year-old told People magazine while sitting in her barn. "I love being an actor and I love the business, I really do, I’ve been in it my whole life. I know nothing else for 30-plus years. But I knew I needed a special place that wasn’t that and that felt more grounded, felt more real, felt more family-oriented because I do love that side of my life, but this is equally as important to me."  Cuoco, who has ridden horses for years and is a show jumper, began looking for her own place around six years ago.  KALEY CUOCO WAS ‘SHAKING’ WHEN SHE MET GARTH BROOKS: A-LISTERS STARSTRUCK BY CELEBRITIES   "I was like, ‘I want my own ranch. I want my own place,’" she said. "And I wanted a place for my family. My family’s family and my child and my brain." The ranch is a place to get away from the demands of being a Hollywood star.  "I come out here and there’s no phone," Cuoco explained. "You’ve got to get on [your horse] and you ride, and then you get off and you grab a carrot, and you go walk in to see all the little animals and they’re all running up to you and it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ you just feel so honored."  But the actress wanted to stay within the state because she is a "California girl from Day One," she told Los Angeles Magazine this month. "No matter where I go in the world, this will always be the place I want to be."  The ranch basically consists of half show horses and half rescue animals.  "You name the animal, and we probably have it. We even have ones you’ve probably never heard of before like a zonkey," Cuoco told People. KALEY CUOCO SHARES INFURIATING INCIDENT WITH PASSENGER ON A FLIGHT, JOKES ‘I COULD HAVE STRANGLED HER’ She added, "Obviously, I rescue dogs and everyone knows that about me, but I’ve really expanded to farm animals and I’ve learned a lot about that and even thoroughbreds and horses off the track and really anything with four legs is welcome here. We don’t really turn anyone away. It became this magical place."  Her partner, Tom Pelphrey , recently told SiriusXM's "The Jeff Cagle Show with Julia Cunningham" that the couple usually have a "pretty high volume" of rescue dogs at any time. "Around the time, literally two or three weeks before Matilda was born , Kaley came to me and said, 'We have to get this dog.' And this happens a lot. I usually only pay attention if the dog is mentioned more than twice, then I know that the dog is coming regardless of what I say," he joked.  KALEY CUOCO ADMITS TO LETTING 10-MONTH-OLD BABY WATCH TV: ‘PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HATE ME FOR THAT’ Cuoco said there’s an "open door policy" for family and friends at the ranch. "This place has brought a lot of joy to my family, my friends, I mean, my friends' kids come out here. They stop by anytime. They feed the animals," she said.  And the menagerie of rescues live together in harmony.  "The goats live with the pigs, who live with the chickens, who live with the ducks," the "Flight Attendant" star explained to People. "They actually all live together with the mini-horses and with our dwarf ponies as well, and it’s kind of beautiful. People think like ‘Oh, you can’t put that animal and that animal together and that’s really not how it goes here. They all — you put them in and they all kind of decide who’s the boss of who and they just figure it out." Cuoco said she brought Pelphrey to the ranch after they started dating.  "He said, ‘I never could have imagined this,’ so six dogs later I knew that’s a big part of our life," she related.  APP USERS CLICK HERE FOR POST Cuoco joked of their 1-year-old daughter , ‘I said, ‘Matilda, if you don’t like animals I’m sending you back, like this is what’s going to happen. We’re forcing this love." Unsurprisingly, one of Matilda’s first words was "dog." "So it’s ‘mama,’ ‘dada,’ ‘dog,’ so that was a really good sign," Cuoco said, who first took her daughter to the ranch when she was 3 weeks old. "Every animal has kissed her and licked her and I was like, this is a good thing, she’s already getting germ free."  The actress told Entertainment Tonight last year that she asked her pediatrician if it was OK for the animals to get so close to her little girl.  "They love her, they kiss her. I mean, from week two, they were kissing her on the mouth. I was like, ‘Is this OK?’" she revealed. "And our pediatrician was like, 'It's totally fine'... They're kind of being raised together and it's so beautiful and very natural, you know?" Cuoco is excited to raise her daughter at the ranch. "I think it’s a great place for a kid to grow up. Learning responsibility, doing chores, taking care of the animals and seeing how animals live together. It’s so important for us in our house for her to see how animals are treated and just kind of living in it," she explained.  Cuoco still has a hole in her heart left by her dog Norman, who died in 2021 and inspired her pet brand, Oh Norman!, and was with her when she was at the "lowest of the low" a few years ago amid her divorce.  "You have those moments and they’re just like there for you," she said, "and then if you wake up the next day and you’re fine, they’re there for you. Like these dogs, they change your life."  Cuoco said that Norman came from "the worst you could imagine and he was my boy for 13 years and he changed my life. I mean, I named my production company after him, I named my pet line after him. He lives on forever, like, what a beautiful legacy."  Now, she and her family continue to give that love to any and all animals who need shelter at her ranch.  CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP "You see the growth in how they thrive here," she told People. "They’re all so happy. They’re happy animals and to be able to give them that second chance at life — a lot of them are so much older — it’s like living out their golden days here. It means the world to me to give them that. Animals mean the world to me." 

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