Tackling the topic of dog and cat homelessness, Ronnie Stanley of the Baltimore Ravens and his tail-wagging teammate Lola have partnered with Petco for a campaign which urges potential pet parents to get in the game and choose their MVP (Most Valuable Pet!) from a shelter or rescue organizations.
The sports hero made headlines in 2016 when he turned to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (also known as BARCS, a non-profit which takes in more than 11,000 companion animals in need each year) to find a furry family member. Knowing the difficulties that some animals face when searching for a forever home, the football player asked to see the shelter’s long-term residents who had been passed by time after time.
A dog who matched that description was Winter (renamed Lola), a 6-year-old Pit Bull who had given birth to multiple litters over the years before she was abandoned at a vacant property.
“Just like I got drafted by the team that needed me most, I wanted Lola to have that same feeling of being wanted,” the athlete stated. “She just wanted to be around people and to feel loved, and to this day she still loves to cuddle just as much as that first night I brought her home.”
Since adopting lovable Lola the NFL offensive tackle has come to the defense of dogs and cats in need by:
- posing with his four-pawed pal for Show Your Soft Side’s campaign against animal cruelty.
- commanding the catwalk during a Pawject Runway fundraiser for BARCS.
- matching fan donations up to $5,000 during a multi-day fund drive for the Franky Fund, which helps BARCS animals in need of medical care.
- welcoming Rico, another Pit Bull from BARCS, into his heart and home!
Lola and her Pittie playmate Rico were once two of the approximately 6.5 million dogs and cats in US animal shelters each year who are waiting to be adopted. In order to shine a spotlight on their plight, Ronnie Stanley is the latest to join the huddle of animal-loving luminaries who have promoted pet adoption through Petco’s “Think Adoption First” campaign. Other stars who have stepped in front of the camera for the paws cause include:
- Olympian Gus Kenworthy
- baseball player Tyson Ross
- Surfing Hall of Fame member Taylor Knox
- pro skateboard/rally cross driver Bucky Lasek
- roller derby champion Bonnie Thunders
- actresses Jamie Chung and Sutton Foster
- Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of the chart-topping country music duo Dan + Shay
Petco, in conjunction with The Petco Foundation, offers support for thousands of animal welfare organizations from coast to coast, and unites more than 400,000 companion animals with loving pet parents each year through in-store adoption events.
If you are thinking about adopting a dog or cat, be sure to check out Petco’s Welcome to the Family program.
Photo Credit: Petco