Impractical Jokers star Joe Gatto and his wife Bessy surprised fans when they announced their split after eight years of marriage in December 2021. Less than two weeks prior, he had gushed in an Instagram post about the “big, beautiful heart on this wife of mine.”

Bessy, 39, isn’t a comedian like her estranged husband, though she has appeared on Impractical Jokers several times while making Joe lose a challenge. Instead, she lists herself as a “Public figure, human mom and dog mom” in her Instagram bio.

The animal lover shares a large collection of rescue dogs with Joe. She’s active with the non-profit animal rescue organization Second Chance Rescue NYC Dogs, and notes in her Instagram bio that she’s a member of their gala committee. Bessy wrote next to a photo at the group’s 2021 party, “Dog people are my favorite kind of people.”

Second Chance Rescue NYC Dogs’ mission statement on their website reads: “We practice responsible and innovative ways to reduce animal overpopulation in shelters, rescue and rehabilitate critically injured and neglected animals, and connect the community to services that enable animals to remain in their homes. Together we are advocates, rescuers, and educators. Together we make a difference.”

Who Is Bessy Gatto
Courtesy of Bessy Gatto/Instagram

Bessy is frequently seen in photos with her beloved dogs on her Instagram page. In a Christmas 2021 snapshot, she managed to get all 17 of her pups dressed in red and white plaid holiday sweaters to pose for a precious portrait.

After Joe and Bessy married in 2013, they went on to have two children. Daughter Milana Francis arrived in 2015, while son Remington Joseph was born in July 2017. Bessy is a loving and active mother, frequently documenting activities with her kids that range from baking cookies to visiting animal sanctuaries in place of traditional zoos.

Bessy wrote that, “A sanctuary is a place to learn about compassion and kindness and interact with animals in a setting that’s peaceful and humane,” during an October 2021 visit to the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, New York. She shared adorable photos of her kids getting to know pigs, goats and other creatures.

Joe and Bessy didn’t publicly indicate any problems in their marriage until his announcement that they were splitting, which came at the same time he revealed he was leaving truTV’s Impractical Jokers after nine seasons.

“I just wanted to let you all know that I will no longer be involved with Impractical Jokers,” Joe wrote via Instagram on December 31, 2021. “Due to some issues in my personal life, I have to step away. Bessy and I have decided to amicably part ways, so now, I need to focus on being the best father and coparent to our two incredible kids.”

Bessy added her own post with a photo alongside Joe in happier times. The caption read, “Hi everyone. With love and respect, we have decided to separate. Although we will no longer be a couple, we will always be a family to our beautiful kids and we look forward to coparenting together,” adding, “And of course we will still continue to help animals and rescue dogs, which is something we are both passionate about!” However, Bessy later shared in a January 2 TikTok video that she was left feeling “broken” following the split.