Earlier this week our station reported on one of our returning Olympians, David Backes, coming home from Sochi and bringing two stray dogs with him. It was a great response to reports we heard of Sochi officials rounding up and killing stray dogs in an effort to clean the streets before the Olympics.
Backes and other players have already adopted the dogs, but he was sure to remind people there are plenty of other worthy pets at the Five Acres Animal Shelter, a group he partners with. As touching as this story is, he isn’t the only athlete, or Blues player that really loves animals. Not to forget Tony LaRusa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and all the good it’s done, but let’s focus again on the Blues.
Last September was the first anniversary of the Animal Cruelty Task Force in St. Louis. The mayor and the police chief came out to Stray Rescue downtown to applaud the efforts of the team in fighting animal abuse in the city. While I was standing in the lobby a man walked in, it was Blues player Alex Steen. I didn’t recognize him at first without the jersey, but when Stray Rescue founder Randy Grimm introduced him it clicked. Alex stood in front of us and talked about how important Stray Rescue was. He called on shops and restaurants with store fronts downtown to recognize that this group keeps strays away from their businesses. He reminded downtown residents that this organization probably helped them find a pet. Stray Rescue helps prosecute people who violently attack animals, and most often, we find these people have been violent toward people or children too.
Then he pledged $10,000 to the organization, and challenged other people to also.
From time to time, Sports Center is on at my house, and it seems like I’m constantly hearing about athletes in trouble for rape or assault, or they made millions and spent it all at a strip club, and now they’re broke. So when I hear about our hometown guys dedicating time and money to a benevolent cause, I can’t help but be proud. Our guys are making the news, but for the right reasons.
Just another reason to root for the Blues.