Sports Heroes Launching Pet Adoption Billboard and PSA Campaign Today!

Posted by Abbie on March 23rd, 2011

St. Louis Blues star David Backes and White Sox pitcher (and St. Louis resident) Mark Buehrle have a message for the citizens of St. Louis: adopt a shelter pet. Mark and Jamie Buehrle and David and Kelly Backes have partnered with, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption web service, for a public service campaign launching today, March 23,  2011 in the greater St. Louis area.

Starting today, St. Louis residents will see light-hearted adoption-promoting billboards featuring the Buehrles and the Backeses, and televised public service announcements starring Kelly and David Backes and their three rescued dogs. Funding for the billboards was generously provided by Nestlé Purina. “Pets in St. Louis’ animal shelters are getting a boost today, thanks to these heroes,” says executive director Abbie Moore, “By speaking out about their passion for pet adoption, and educating people that they can go to and see photos and information about pets in shelters, they’re truly making a difference in the lives of people and homeless pets.”

Says David Backes, ““We’ve always been huge proponents of pet adoption and we’re excited to partner with our friends at to spread the word. We adopted all three of our dogs and our two cats, and they’re such important parts of our family.”

Kelly Backes adds, “Rescued pets make the best companions. They know you’ve given them a new lease on life and your unconditional love. Every day, so many animals needlessly die – we want to educate people that they can save a life by adopting a pet. It’s only a click away!”

Both the Backeses and the Buehrles are extremely active in companion-animal welfare issues. David and Kelly Backes both serve on the board of directors of the St. Charles Humane Society, where Kelly is Vice President of the shelter. They cofounded “Barkin for Blues”, an annual pet-adoption event held at the Scottrade Center. In addition, they’ve personally fostered and rehomed over 20 dogs, and they network on a daily basis with numerous groups in Missouri to save countless lives.

Mark and Jamie Buehrle founded Sox for Strays, a monthly pregame adoption event that brings pets from local shelters and rescue organizations to U.S. Cellular Field. They are also major supporters of Hope Animal Rescues, an Illinois-based rescue group, where a building they donated is named in their honor. Jamie serves on the board of directors of the St. Charles Humane Society and volunteers her time at Stray Rescue. Says Mark Buehrle, “Our dogs add so much to our lives, and our family wouldn’t be complete without them. The shelters are filled with great pets, both mixed-breed and purebred. We recently adopted a purebred Viszla. You can pretty much find any kind of pet you want in a shelter.”

Adds Jamie Buehrle, “It’s easy to say ‘You should adopt a pet because it helps the pet’, but what we want people to know is what an amazing impact adopting a pet has on your life. There’s nothing like having this grateful, loyal friend to greet you at the door every night. It’s the best feeling.”

Downloadable hi-res PSAs, b-roll and billboard artwork can be found at

About is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, helping over 9,500 animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescue groups, and pet adoption agencies advertise their homeless pets to adopters. Over 200 St. Louis area animal shelters rely on’s services to help them find homes for the pets in their care. Every month, displays photos and descriptions of adoptable pets to over 1.5 million people trying to adopt a pet. Funding for is provided by the passionate pet lovers at Nestlé Purina and Bayer Animal Health.