The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are underway in Rio, and as sports fans cheer for athletes from around the globe as they go for the gold, devotees of dogs are applauding the ongoing efforts of 2014 winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy as the silver medalist with a heart of gold continues to promote the option of pet adoption.
Kenworthy, who flew through the air during the 2014 winter Olympic debut of slope style skiing in Sochi, first garnered the attention and admiration of animal lovers when he used his newly gotten star wattage to shine a spotlight on stray dogs near the Olympic venues who were in danger of losing their lives due to overpopulation. His dogged devotion to help animals in need of forever homes has continued back in the U.S., and recently the freestyle skier has stepped away from the slopes to stand in front of a camera for Petco’s “Think Adoption First” campaign.
“I’ve travelled all over the world and there seems to be one thing in common everywhere I go, pets in need. I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact shelter pets can have and how incredibly special the bond is when you’ve helped save an animal’s life.” the X Games medalist stated. “There’s no greater feeling than opening your heart and home to a pet in need and I’m proud to be an advocate for all pets who need our support.”
During a visit to Animal Care and Control in New York City Kenworthy discusses the heartbreaking fact that more than 7.6 million adoptables will find themselves in U.S. shelters each year. Five million will be put up for adoption, with only 2.7 million of them finding forever pet parents to love. Helping to change the sobering statistic, Petco and The Petco Foundation partner annually with more than 4,000 animal welfare groups to find families for more than 400,000 dogs, cats and other companion animals– animals like Bronx, Max and San Diego, the three dogs who star alongside the sports star in the video. Today all three are in loving, forever homes!
Gus Kenworthy is the latest in a long line of luminaries who has shown support for Petco’s “Think Adoption First” campaign. The Olympian has followed in the footsteps of such animal-loving athletes and acts as Tyson Ross of the San Diego Padres, Surfing Hall of Fame member Taylor Knox, pro skateboarder/rally cross driver Bucky Lasek, and roller derby champion Bonnie Thunders, actress Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time, Big Hero 6) and Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, star of the TV Land series Younger.