11/03/2011 AT 4:30 PM ET
Teri Polo’s furry family has suddenly expanded – exponentially – but she has no complaints.
“I’m in heaven,” the actress tells PEOPLE. “I’m a sucker. I’ve loved animals since I was a little girl.”
Polo, who can currently be seen in ABC’s new series Man Up, had just adopted two Chihuahuas a few weeks ago, but has since rescued another Chihuahua puppy and three kittens.
The rash of adoptions happened, in part, thanks to her new show. While promoting the comedy on Good Day L.A., Polo was waiting to go on when she saw a segment about adoptable animals. One of the featured pets was a young Chihuahua named Pearl.
“They had a live feed going in my dressing room during their pet adoption segment,” Polo says. “As soon as the segment was over, I ran down and said, ‘I’ll take her!’”
The kittens, meanwhile, came during a scene for Man Up featuring some chickens (“Don’t ask,” Polo says). The animal wrangler brought five kittens that she had rescued to the set and told Polo about how the cats’ mother had been taken by coyotes when the litter was just a few weeks old.
“They were looking for home, and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll take one,’” she says, “because I’m a sucker.”
As she was waiting for the kitten to get old enough to come home with her, she heard from the wrangler that two of the kittens had died – so she adopted the remaining cats. “I got very concerned, as if I were God or Superwoman and could save them from any illness,” she says.
Now, Polo is mom to a whopping six pets: Lulu and Lester, the original Chihuahuas; Pearl, the morning show rescue; and Lily, Linus and Thomas, the orphaned kittens. And that’s in addition to Polo’s two young children: 9-year-old son Griffin and 4-year-old daughter Bayley, both of whom take after Mom in their love of animals.
“We’re one big, happy family now,” Polo says. “The new ones have all integrated quite nicely. They tease each other, run around, wrestle and play. It’s hilarious to watch.”
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