Charlize Theron is committed to giving strays and rescue dogs a home because it reminds her of growing up in South Africa.

The Therons adopted all kinds of homeless animals on their farm when the actress was a child, and now she has four dogs, including one, Orson, she rescued from the streets of Italy.

The OSCAR-winning MONSTER star tells America's ANIMAL LIFE magazine, "He's a Great Dane, Dalmatian, mutt something and he looks like a big, black and white cow.

"I adopted him last year (03) in September on the streets of Italy. I was on vacation there with my mom and a friend, and he lived in our little neighbourhood where we stayed. He took a liking to us and started following us around.

"Before we knew it, we were taking him into the hotel. I just fell in love with him and couldn't leave him there. He just needed a rabies shot, and then I brought him back with me."

The actress' other pooches are called Delilah, DENVER and TUCKER, who was rescued in Wisconsin.

Theron recalls, "Tucker came from a girl I know who worked in a shelter in Wisconsin. A year ago (03) she decided to join the Peace Corps in Thailand.

"She knew she was going to be there for at least three years, so I said I would take him. He's going to be with me now. We're not going to switch him back to her."

06/07/2004 02:33