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.
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!
Dr. Pia Salk