The Sedalia Animal Shelter had special guests Monday afternoon as some Rams joined the shelter’s dogs and cats for playtime.
Rams player and Northwest High School graduate Tim Barnes and his wife Lindsay spent time Monday playing with a few of the shelter’s dogs and donating dog food, paper towels and soap as part of Athletes for Animals. The organization was started by David Backes, of the St. Louis Blues, and his wife Kelly. A4A began in the St. Louis area and now has numerous professional athlete ambassadors in most major sports who volunteer, advocate and donate to animal-related causes.
“We love Athletes for Animals. When we’re able, we donate money and food to animal shelters and help promote adoption for pets rather than buying dogs,” Lindsay said.
“The people that started it, we got to know them and wanted to get involved,” Tim Barnes said. “We wanted to make sure they get good homes because animals are important to us.”
“We’ve had our dog (a 5-year-old Boxer named Oscar) for five years, and we’ve rescued two strays (near our offseason home in Smithton); one is now with Tim’s mom and one is with his brother,” Lindsay added.
Lindsay said A4A was one of the first charities they donated to and this was their second visit to the Sedalia Animal Shelter.
“It’s always fun to play with dogs,” Tim added laughing as he played with Whoppers, an energetic 2-month-old Shetland Sheepdog mix that is available for adoption.
“They’re both ready to be picked up for a new home,” Lindsay Barnes said of Whoppers and another pup, Skittles, a 2-month-old Terrier/Pit Bull mix, the couple played with Monday afternoon. “Hopefully someone will come pick them up, they’re such sweeties.”
Sedalia Animal Shelter Manager Andrea Martin said it’s always nice to have volunteers play with the animals, no matter who it may be.
“For one, it’s great for the animals — it doesn’t matter who it is, having that social interaction is wonderful,” she said. “When we have people like (Tim and Lindsay), that gets the shelter’s name out there, that it’s important to adopt. It promotes adoption and animal shelters.”
The couple played with the few dogs available for adoption at the moment, as many of the shelter’s cages were empty Monday. Martin said they had about 40 adoptions in January, with two animals transferred to rescue organizations. The shelter has already seen 11 adoptions in February, with two animals being sent to Second Chance; one was adopted the same day and the other has been placed in a foster home.
Tim and Lindsay said many athletes are from the St. Louis area since that is where the organization started, so they are happy to bring A4A’s mission to another city. Tim is a free agent this year so it’s unknown if he will relocate with the Rams to Los Angeles, but Lindsay said they “will bring this wherever we will be.”
For more information about Athletes for Animals, visit AthletesforAnimals.org.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.