November 16, 2011 08:10 PM

How many pets do you have?

It’s a simple question with a simple answer – but not for Jennie Garth.

“I couldn’t count how many animals we have right now,” she tells PEOPLE. “It’s kinda out of control.”

But Garth, husband Peter Facinelli, and their daughters, Luca, Lola, and Fiona, wouldn’t have it any other way. They live on a ranch in Northern California with a menagerie that includes dogs, cats, chickens, goats and three new additions: a pig and two horses which were recent birthday gifts for the girls.

“Mia Hamm is the miniature potbellied pig,” Garth explains. “She is very friendly and loves to hide under the apple tree and eat till she can barely walk. She doesn’t like baths. Ashley and Olivia are miniature ponies that actually look like [daughters] Fiona and Lola. They are so amazing.”

So in love is Garth with her pastoral life that work can hardly tear her away. Thankfully, for her latest project, she didn’t have to go far. Her new DVD movie, A Christmas Wedding Tail, in which she plays a widowed mom with a lovable pooch named Rusty, kept her very close to home.

“We shot it up north where we live, which is why I did the movie – so I could be with my kids and they would be able to hang out with me,” she says. “They made friends with all the kids in the movie.”

While her kids were having fun on set, Mom was working hard with Rusty (pictured), who had only had two days of training and was quite the demanding costar. “He thought it was super fun to pull me around on the leash,” she says. “He was definitely in charge. But very sweet!”

With animals abounding at work and at home, it’s no surprise that the actress’s Tweets are often furry in nature. Like a recent Twitpic she shared of her pig dressed up as . “We gave Mia Hamm a do,” she explains. “Or maybe a don’t!”

A Christmas Wedding Tail is available on DVD on Dec. 6.

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