St. Louis Shelter Pets Have Spokesman in Blues Star David Backes

Categories: Blues, Community
david backes.jpg
Rescue dogs and kittens: This guy has your Backes.
Daily RFT had the opportunity yesterday to talk with David Backes, the All-Star winger for the St. Louis Blues, prior to the launch of his new media campaign with

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

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.

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Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

David Backes and his wife, Kelly, are the best. If it weren't for them, I don't know if the St. Charles shelter could have made it--and it's a good shelter, with good people.

Thanks to you both--you rock.

Thanks also for your support of Proposition B. I just wish the state representatives cared as much as people, and the vote, as you both do.

PS That was a great video, I loved seeing the dogs on the ice.


Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Backes! You guys are doing a fantastic job! Thanks to Tony LaRussa too!

Pet overpopulation, along with cruel and inhumane treatment (and suffering) have long been a part of our culture, and we have been slow coming to the plate - especially with PUPPY MILLS here in the state of Missouri.

Everyone has had their chance, but no one did a thing, as the incidents of unspeakable cruelty and suffering stacked up. Finally, it took the people and Prop B to make the first big dent!

NOW - all of a sudden - everyone cares. In fact, they care so much, they will just fix Prop B and more. Don't you believe it! The things the Senate and House Bills overturn are the exact provisions in Prop B that were going to stop the cruelty and suffering. Then, they added "fluff", to take our eye off the ball (or off the puck!).

Write and call your reps, people. We shouldn't have to babysit them, but we do! Tell them to leave Prop B alone. If they want to add more safeguards, great! But don't wipe out Prop B to do it.

And if you great sports people could get a few more names to help get the message out, it sure would be great! The Rams need to be involved, and maybe they know some folks over here on the Chiefs or Royals. More Cardinals and Blues too! Let's stop the cruelty and protect the process of voting!

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