08/08/2012 at 01:00 PM EDT
For a 12-year-old, Kiernan Shipka sure has a great attitude. And wait until you get her started on her dogs.
"They're just awesome," Shipka told PEOPLE at Monday's Los Angeles premiere of The Odd Life of Timothy Green. "Pets are great companions and great buddies."
The Mad Men star has two German shepherds named Bunny and Rosie. Bunny, a 5-year-old rescue, has a "scared" way about him, but Shipka doesn't mind.
"It's great to know that you rescued and saved some dog's life," she said. "It's always really rewarding."
The two dogs are best friends – with each other, and with the young actress.
"They kind of know when you're sad and happy," she said. "I just kind of love that they're animals but they're always so smart. They seem to know you pretty well."