Long before Denise Richards was a mom of three, she was passionate about taking care of all the cats and dogs that needed homes.
"When I was little, I swear I brought home every stray dog, hoping my parents would let me keep it," she wrote in a blog for iVillage. "When I first started acting I would help at shelters... One of the many causes near and dear to my heart is animal rescue."
Charlie Sheen's ex-wife works closely with Best Friends Animal Society. "I am very active in their Pup My Ride program," she writes in her iVillage blog. "Every other Monday when I'm not working, I go to the shelter and we take out 30-50 dogs that would otherwise be euthanized."
Richards has even brought her two older daughters -- Sam, 7, and Lola 6 -- to help out at the shelter. (At 4 months, baby Eloise is still a bit young to lend a hand with the animals.)
Richards has personally taken in "a sweet 16-year-old dog… a dog that was left starved to death and with cancer (she is doing great) [and] a dog that was abused and had her leg amputated."
"I have a dog that was a victim of a very bad hoarding situation -- his legs were very damaged, but we fixed him up too!" she said. "I also have a dog that was born with no eyes. These dogs were all going to be euthanized. They are so loving and so happy at our home."
With the holidays coming up, Richards hopes anyone wanting to get a dog or cat to "[adopt] from your local shelter or a rescue group instead of going to a pet store or breeder."
"There are so many puppies at the shelters," she wrote. "I would strongly encourage you to adopt!"
Her new website -- DeniseRichards.com -- launches Nov. 7 and will feature many animals needing homes as well as information on animal rescue.
- Denise Richards