St. Louis Shelter Pets Have Spokesman in Blues Star David Backes
|Rescue dogs and kittens: This guy has your Backes.|
Beginning today, you'll start seeing billboards of Backes and his wife, Kelly, around town urging people to adopt pets from area shelters. Chicago White Sox pitcher, Mark Buerhle, a graduate of Francis Howell North in St. Charles, and his wife Jamie are also taking part in the campaign.
The question we had for the Backes, though, was this: How does a tough hockey player end up as a spokesman for cuddly puppies?
David Backes: They don't have a voice, so someone has to speak for them. Animals are a passion for both of us. We grew up around pets. They're an important part of our lives.
Daily RFT: How many animals do you have at the homestead?
Kelly Backes: We rescued our first cat while we were still in college in Minnesota. We then adopted another cat from the shelter. When we moved to St. Louis, we adopted two dogs from Stray Rescue and another from St. Louis Animal Control that was about to be put to sleep. We also serve as foster parents for shelter animals until they're adopted. At any given time, we can have a lot of animals at home.
Daily RFT: And both of you are involved in the St. Charles Humane Society, correct?
Kelly Backes: Yes. We got involved four years ago and remain active even though we no longer live in St. Charles.
Daily RFT: David, I've seen you on the news defending Proposition B and criticizing Missouri legislators for trying to repeal last November's statewide vote on greater restriction on dog breeding facilities. How did you get involved in that campaign?
David Backes: It was really a no-brainer. The initiative passed, but just by a small margin, and now the opposition is using scare tactics to try to repeal it. The lawmakers need to know that the majority of Missourians favored Proposition B. They don't want their state labeled the "Puppy Mill Capital of America." They don't want dogs living in horrible conditions. There's a reason that these breeders don't want cameras and videos in their facilities. That alone speaks volumes.
Daily RFT: Tell us about your promotion with Adopt-a-Pet.com.
Davide Backes: It's a great opportunity to help spread the word. Adopt-a-Pet is a tremendous resource, allowing people to view photos and bios of animals available for adoption at area shelters. We're honored to be a part of it. It was a lot of fun, too, shooting the campaign. We got to take our three dogs onto center ice. That always makes for good times.