Pmate Hunter

It takes a special woman to win a contest like Fox' Girl Next Door: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold without enduring a few claw marks, but Lauren Anderson emerged unscathed and even made some new friends along the way. "The whole thing was an incredible experience," says Miss July. "I got along with all the girls and want to keep in touch with them." You may recognize the 22-year-old Florida college senior from the October 2001 Girls of the SEC pictorial, but Lauren doesn't think her previous modeling experience gave her an edge on the competition. "It had no bearing whatsoever," she says. "We were judged on the pictures that were shot during the show. I love being on camera and acting -- it comes naturally to me." Lauren is studying pre-veterinary medicine in college and is determined to open her own animal-rescue farm someday. "My favorite class was Livestock Practical," she says. "I delivered two litters of pigs and a horse for that course. At home, I have two cats and a pet duck named Marble, who was paralyzed in one leg. I assisted on a surgery to put a metal rod in his leg, which we just took out the other day. He's doing fine and likes to swim in my bathtub." One guy who thinks waterfowl swimming in Lauren's tub is just ducky is her boyfriend of more than three years. "I love all-American boys," she says. "And I'm attracted to a guy I can't get right away. I love going bowling or just walking on the beach -- simple stuff. In five years I could see myself married, being an actress and owning an animal shelter. I believe in destiny, so I wouldn't change anything that has happened to me, because those experiences helped me become the woman I am now."

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