April 22, 2010 07:00 PM

In his new action flick The Losers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a ruggedly handsome tough guy with a heart of gold, which, come to think of it, probably wasn’t much of a stretch for the 44-year-old actor.

While most of the cast and crew came back from filming in the jungles of Puerto Rico with souvenir trinkets, Morgan came back with a new best friend – a very grateful, rambunctious mutt named Bandit.

“He just wandered out of the jungle in Puerto Rico, like our second day there, and promptly got hit by a car,” Morgan tells PEOPLE at the film’s Los Angeles premiere.

And since stray dogs are all too common on the island, the prognosis for Bandit was dire – that is, until the actor stepped in.

“The vet was going to put him to sleep,” he says. “And I said, ‘No, let’s save him.’”

And save him he did. Morgan footed the veterinary expenses and nursed the one-year-old shepherd mix back to health. He then took the next logical step of adopting Bandit, flying him home to introduce the newest member of the Morgan family to 9-year-old Rottweiler Bisou.

Luckily, the two dogs get along famously, and the more comfortable Bandit gets in his new surroundings, the more personality he flashes.

“Bandit’s a little rough because he’s a puppy,” Morgan says with a laugh, “but he is fricking hilarious, and now he runs my house.”

Read more celebrity animal rescue stories on PEOPLEPets.com:
Lisa Edelstein Asks the Dog Whisperer to Make a House Call
ACM Winner Miranda Lambert Calls New Dog Her Lucky Charm

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