NFL Stars Show Their Soft Sides to Find Forever Homes for Pets
Show Your Soft Side (SYSS) is a group of professional athletes, actors, and animal-lovers who want the world to know that being kind to animals, or “Softies” is what shows strength, not abusing them to show how ‘tough’ one is.
Torrey Smith, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, became a ‘Softie’ in 2012 when he was playing for the Baltimore Ravens. He and his wife, Chanel Williams, are big animal advocates and lovers, and honorary chairs of Pawject Runway, which raises money for homeless cats and dogs from Baltimore’s animal shelter, BARCS.
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Smith and Williams surprised all in attendance at Pawject Runway, which features adoptable dogs in a canine fashion show. At the end of the night, they told the guests they’d be covering the adoption fees for all 46 of the cats and dogs at the show. Additionally, Smith’s manager even matched his donation amount for the shelter!
Jennifer Brause, Executive Director of BARCS, said that the crowd went wild when Smith made his announcement and told the crowd he wanted to be sure all the animals found good homes.
By the end of the night, they all had. All except for one–Zappa.
And that’s when Raven Ronnie Stanley, who is also a Softie ambassador, decided to add to his family and put in an application for Zappa. Stanley stole our hearts last year when he went to BARCS looking specifically for a dog that was ‘unadoptable’ so he could give that dog love and affection. He left with a Terrier/Retriever, who he named Lola, and cemented his place as a forever Softie.
Zappa also had a hard start in life – when he was born, the puppy stopped breathing, but was saved by his foster mother. When Stanley found out that Zappa had such a harrowing beginning, he was even more excited to add the miracle pup to his family! Renaming him Rico, Stanley plastered pictures of his new pup all over his social media pages, proving that there is nothing like the kisses of a rescued puppy!
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Brause says that she is so happy that such high-profile people are bringing attention to how being soft and kind to animals can be the coolest thing ever. More, she is thankful that they use their fame and attention to do so much for their communities.
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