Animal Instincts

updated 10/22/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/22/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Their careers may have ups and downs, but to their pets they'll always be stars, someone to slather with unconditional love. And vice versa, judging from the 80 famous folk cuddling their beasts in Pets and Their Celebrities (Animal Fair Media). Photographer Chris Ameruoso, 37, began the book 2'A years ago, after he saw Patricia Arquette walking her Chinese crested (a toy dog) and decided he wanted one too. "Once I got Stella Blue," he says, "I began to see people and their pets, the warmth they share." With a portion of the profits going to L.A.'s Last Chance for Animals rescue project, he persuaded stars to pose. "Every one of the pets was great," he says. "Even the friskier ones."

Brendan Fraser with Lucy
The Mummy star, 32, "came out of the house with his little Chihuahua under his big black sweater," says Ameruoso. "He said Lucy liked to be carried around that way. So all you could see was this little head and big ears sticking out."

Kate Hudson with Snoopy
"He's a Jack Russell terrier, and he was very high-strung," says Ameruoso. But Hudson, 22, "calmed him right down. Kate is a likable, fun person—and animals respond to her exactly the way people do. She's so cute and so lovable."

Shannen Dohery and Max Luca
"He's a gentle giant, that's what he is," says Ameruoso of the 30-year-old actress's bullmastiff. "Max Luca was very lovable with Shannen. When I asked her to lie down with him, his face just melted into the cement. He's certainly bigger than Shannen is—and he's definitely the drool master."

Pamela Anderson with son Brandon and Star
Anderson, 34, has rescued many dogs, but "this golden retriever was her first," says Ameruoso. "He was just a big, lovable baby. When his ears are scratched he growls real low in pleasure, like a cat purrs when it's blissed out."

Bo Derek with Cifi
Her German shepherd is the 44-year-old actress's occasional security guard, says Ameruoso. "Cifi goes everywhere with her. Her commands to him are all in German. He is very intimidating.

David Alan Grier with Cuca and Hannibal
Ameruoso didn't expect the sharp-edged comic, 45, "to have two big fluffy Bouviers des Flandres. He's very playful with them. They were beautifully groomed. That's important to David."

Amy Smart and Nala
The Los Angeles-based actress (Felicity, Rat Race), 25, "has two cats in her condo," says Ameruoso. "One of them is very social, a tabby named Yogi, and there is this black one, Nala, that just did not want to be around. So getting the photograph of Amy and Nala was a challenge. Finally, Amy just had to grab and hold the kitty real close and real tight. But in the picture you can still see how shy it is."

Courteney Cox Arquette Arquette and David Arquette with Ella
The Friends star, 37, and her actor husband, 30, "are devoted to their dogs," says Ameruoso. Ella, a Bernese mountain dog "who looks like a stuffed animal," is one of their three dogs. "They like to run after you and bite at your feet."

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