Angie Harmon Says Her Daughters Put on “Rizzoli & Isles” to Comfort Their Dogs While She's Gone (Exclusive)

"They all fall asleep in the living room," the actress tells PEOPLE of her on-screen voice calming her household of animals

<p> Paul Archuleta/WireImage; Angie Harmon/Instagram</p> Angie Harmon

Paul Archuleta/WireImage; Angie Harmon/Instagram

Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon may have an advantage over other dog moms in comforting her pets while she's away.

In an interview with PEOPLE, the actress says her daughters put on one of their mom's hit TV shows to pacify the family's three rescue canines.

"When we have to leave the house, my daughters will turn on Rizzoli & Isles so the dogs think I'm still in the house," Harmon, 51, tells PEOPLE of her detective drama series, which ran from 2010 to 2016 on TNT and still streams today.

"Finley does that all the time," the mom of three adds of her 20-year-old. "My oldest would be like, 'Well, mom, I just felt bad for them. So I just turned on Rizzoli & Isles, and they all just fell asleep in the living room' — and the cats come downstairs, and everybody comes down the stairs and sits on the couch."

One of Harmon's cats is named Hazel after the star's recent role in Buried in Barstow.

<p>Angie Harmon/Instagram</p> Angie Harmon gets cozy with on of her three dogs

Angie Harmon/Instagram

Angie Harmon gets cozy with on of her three dogs

Related: Angie Harmon Shares How She Rescued Her Pet Squirrel: 'The First Thing He Saw Was Me' (Exclusive)

The Law & Order alum adores all her animals, including her pet squirrel, who are all rescues.

"So my big guy, he's like a Great Dane and a Catahoula, and my middle guy is a German shepherd slash beagle. And then the little one is a Chug, and she's like a Chihuahua body with a pug head," Harmon says of her smallest pup, noting that she calls her "Chug Life" and that she definitely "runs the roost."

"I mean, she's the tiniest thing and literally just puts everybody in their place," she adds.

<p>Angie Harmon/Instagram</p>

Angie Harmon/Instagram

Related: This Home Security Camera from Amazon is How I Keep an Eye on My Pets While Away

Even smaller than Harmon's "Chug Life" pup is the actress' 3-month-old squirrel named Thomas.

"So my youngest daughter found him on the sidewalk, and there was no tree to put him on," Harmon says of how her daughter Emery, 14, helped her become a squirrel mom.

Harmon, who also has a third daughter named Avery, 18, says she told Emery to "go find the nearest tree, put them under it," and wait for the mother to return.

Unfortunately, the mother squirrel never return area where Emery found the newborn rodent.

"So, I was like, 'Okay, I'll come get him,'" Harmon says. "And then I've had him ever since."

<p>Carrie Frank</p>

Carrie Frank

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When Thomas finally opened his eyes one month later, "The first thing he saw was me," the Texas native describes of her bonding moment with the animal, whom she plans to release back into the wild "when he's ready."

But for now, "He's my baby. I love him so much."

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