Play Ball!

Posted by Pia

This week, an awesome new adoption-promoting campaign launched in the city of Chicago, and its stars are two of the coolest shelter-pet advocates you’ll ever meet: legendary White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle and his wife Jamie, whose tireless work on behalf of shelter animals has saved countless lives.

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Jamie and Mark Buehrle shoot a video segment showcasing adoptable dogs, to be shown on the big screen during a White Sox home game at U.S. Cellular Field.  How cute are these dogs?

1 Jamie and Mark Buehrle shoot a video segment showcasing adoptable dogs, to be shown on the big screen during a White Sox home game at U.S. Cellular Field. How cute are these dogs?

These adoption-promoting billboards featuring Mark and Jamie are currently up all over the Chicagoland area.

2 These adoption-promoting billboards featuring Mark and Jamie are currently up all over the Chicagoland area.

Mark talks to the camera during the filming of Adopt-a-Pet.com's adoption-promoting public service announcement, currently airing in Chicago.

3 Mark talks to the camera during the filming of Adopt-a-Pet.com's adoption-promoting public service announcement, currently airing in Chicago.

Mark and Jamie shooting the Adopt-a-Pet.com PSA.

4 Mark and Jamie shooting the Adopt-a-Pet.com PSA.

Mark and Jamie, with their own dogs, Diesel, Duke, and Drake, pose for the Adopt-a-Pet.com billboard.

5 Mark and Jamie, with their own dogs, Diesel, Duke, and Drake, pose for the Adopt-a-Pet.com billboard.

Jamie and Mark with Sammy, a featured adoptable dog, at the first Sox For Strays event at U.S. Cellular Field.

6 Jamie and Mark with Sammy, a featured adoptable dog, at the first Sox For Strays event at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jamie (with an adorable friend) works the adoption booth at a Sox For Strays event at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.

7 Jamie (with an adorable friend) works the adoption booth at a Sox For Strays event at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.

Jamie hands a puppy to his new family...such a beautiful, exciting moment!  This family drove a long way to adopt their dog at Sox For Strays.

8 Jamie hands a puppy to his new family...such a beautiful, exciting moment! This family drove a long way to adopt their dog at Sox For Strays.

Jamie pets Truman, a very special dog sponsored by the Buehrles. Truman was found on the street, standing guard over the body of a dachshund who had been killed by a car. Such a gentle giant!

9 Jamie pets Truman, a very special dog sponsored by the Buehrles. Truman was found on the street, standing guard over the body of a dachshund who had been killed by a car. Such a gentle giant!

Mark poses with a cutie pie adopted out by Found Chicago rescue group, with help from the Buehrles.

10 Mark poses with a cutie pie adopted out by Found Chicago rescue group, with help from the Buehrles.

A lucky adoptable pooch cuddles with Mark on the field before a game.

11 A lucky adoptable pooch cuddles with Mark on the field before a game.

Of course, the Buehrles' own dogs are cherished members of the family. I think this photo says it all..

12 Of course, the Buehrles' own dogs are cherished members of the family. I think this photo says it all..

Drake, Diesel, and Duke hanging out at home.

13 Drake, Diesel, and Duke hanging out at home.

Drake enjoys all the pleasures of being just one of the Buehrle kids.

14 Drake enjoys all the pleasures of being just one of the Buehrle kids.

Duke Buehrle thinks this is as good (and adorable) a resting place as any!

15 Duke Buehrle thinks this is as good (and adorable) a resting place as any!

If you’re a baseball fan, you know Mark Buehrle, who in his 10-year career with the White Sox has achieved, well…everything. In 2009, he became only the 18th major-leaguer since 1900 to pitch a perfect game, and he’s one of just a few players in Major League history to have thrown both a no-hitter and a perfect game.  He holds the franchise record for most opening-day starts. ...I could go on. And now, thanks to his amazing wife Jamie, he’s a proponent of pet adoption, too!

If you live in the St. Louis area, where the Buehrles make their home in the off season, and you care about animals, chances are good you know exactly who Jamie Buehrle is. She’s quickly making a name for herself as one of the most committed and active supporters of animal welfare. This mother of two young kids and three dogs finds time in her busy schedule to sit on the Board of Directors of the St. Charles Humane Society, and together with Mark, is funding a new animal care center for Illinois-based Hope Animal Rescues, one of her pet projects (pardon the pun).

Jamie says, “I always liked animals, and then we got our dogs Diesel and Drake (and now Duke). While they quickly became a huge part of our lives, I started hearing stories about pets in shelters and cases of animal abuse, and they stuck with me. It just snowballed from there.”

This past baseball season, Jamie and Mark founded Sox For Strays, a monthly pet adoption event held at U.S. Cellular Field, where the Sox play. Each month, the Buehrles invite a rescue group to bring a few adoptable pets to the field, where they’re featured in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) shown on the big screen to tens of thousands of fans during the game. Then they are available to meet prospective adopters at the Sox For Strays booth just outside the stadium.

But I digress…back to the new pet-adoption campaign in Chicago. When Abbie Moore, baseball fan and executive director Adopt-a-Pet.com learned that the Buehrle's were looking to help shelter pets, she thought she was dreaming. Fast forward, and now the Buehrles are appearing on TV and on billboards all around the Chicagoland area.

And it's making a difference for shelter animals! Since the billboards launched earlier this month, Adopt-a-Pet.com reports that Chicago-area site visitors have gone up by an average of 1,000 per day! That means that more people are saving lives through pet adoption and using a great tool to make it easy. Jamie plans to help Adopt-a-Pet.com expand this kind of campaign, using local sports stars to spread the word about adoption in many cities across the U.S.

A big thanks to the Buehrles and Adopt-a-Pet.com for making a difference!
Game on!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (5)

  • Thank goodness for people like them! Basil waiting to hear about your mri still keeping our paws crossed. Your friend Rocky

  • How absolutely wonderful! Thank You Jamie and Mark Buehrle for caring and doing so much for these animals.
    Great video and projects...Kudos!

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    Hello to you too Dr. Pia. I’ll bet that having a baseball player at an animal shelter would be fun. Just think of all those balls he could throw for the animals there. As for me, I will chase after a pall one time. When I bring it back and it’s thrown again, I guess that the one throwing it really doesn’t want it; so why bring it back to them. It takes a lot of my time, and energy, just running after the squirrels around here. Running after a ball seems pointless to me. I guess some dogs just do it to please someone, but I please them enough without running myself to death. I’ll bet that GK feels the same way when he gets older. Hang in there Basil ole buddy.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hi Dr. Pia, What a terrific way to promote pet adoption! I've been a baseball fan forever and Mark Buehrle is one fantastic pitcher! How great that he and his wife are so involved in shelter pet adoptions and have involved the Chicago White Sox as well as their St. Louis area! Wouldn't it be super if all baseball and other sports teams would do the same thing?! That would involve more and more people to be aware of needy animals and hopefully adopt more of them! Thanks for another great blog! Jan

  • Hi there, you know in our neck of the woods these guys have been helping a tiny shelter out called Hope Animal Rescues.
    They are two wonderful people, who have truly made a difference.
    I put a link to the shelter they work with on here, you should go check it out.

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