ASHTON KUTCHER TO THE RESCUE

Published on: September 23, 2004

DOGGONE! I'm not punkin' you, gossip fans - Ashton Kutcher played real-life hero on the set of his latest flick, battling a killer coyote pack and rescuing a stray mutt from the jaws of death! Shooting on location in northern California, Ashton & Company fell in love with a meek homeless pooch that kept hanging around begging for food - and named it "Frances," after the Florida hurricane. Ashton told everyone that if no owner appeared to claim the pup, he'd find it a home himself. But one evening after sundown, filming was interrupted by terrible shrieks nearby - and the vicious snarls of coyotes attacking prey! Stopping in the middle of a scene, Ashton yelled, "Omigod - they've got Frances." He raced out into the darkness, followed by his crew - and found Frances being ripped apart by the slashing teeth of a coyote pack. Enraged, Ashton charged fearlessly, howling as he winged rocks at the killers - and suddenly, the beasts turned tail and ran. Incredibly, Frances - covered in blood - was still alive. As Ashton cradled the dog in his arms, a crew member drove them hell-for-leather to the nearest animal hospital - and miraculously, Frances survived despite wounds requiring hundreds of stitches! Ashton footed the vet bills, he and galpal Demi Moore are now nursing the lucky canine back to health at their home - and insiders say an adoption is imminent! Bow-WOW, dude!