Mickey Rourke to Build Massive Animal Shelter in Romania

Mickey Rourke, seen in January 2009, has a love for dogs that knows no bounds. (Photo: Terry Straehley/Shutterstock.com)

There's no denying Mickey Rourke's love for dogs. The 59-year-old has regularly praised his canine companions in public, giving them credit for sticking with him when others didn't.

"I'd like to thank all my dogs," he said during his Golden Globes Best Actor speech in 2009. "The ones that are here, the ones that aren't here anymore because sometimes when a man's alone, that's all you got is your dog. And they've meant the world to me."

Rourke's affection apparently knows no borders. While recently shooting the new flick "Dead in Tombstone" in Romania, the actor adopted a stray (dubbed "Foxy") and threw himself into making a difference for other strays. Late last month, he announced a $2 million campaign to build a massive animal shelter, committing more than $250,000 of his own money to get it started.

According to the Bucharest Herald, Rourke's Wild Dogs of Romania Sanctuary will be the size of a football field and able to host thousands of dogs. In courting investors, Rourke has apparently stressed that this is more a matter for the heart and not the wallet, saying that “nobody will make any money from this investment.”

Last November, Romanian lawmakers passed legislation making it legal to euthanize a portion of the estimated 50,000 stray dogs that roam the streets of Bucharest. Under the law, those animals presenting a hazard to the public will be rounded up, placed in a shelter, and given 30 days to find adoption or be put to sleep.

Rourke, who promises to visit the country regularly to keep tabs on the animal sanctuary, has already made contact with an investor who will sell him a plot of land south of the city. Nice work, Mickey.