An increased respect for all companion animals, so that all decisions about pets – from adoption to spaying/neutering to providing a permanent home – lead us to manageable pet population.
WHO WE ARE
Athletes for Animals is a united team of professional athletes with a shared passion for rescuing and protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide.
Our Athlete Ambassadors represent sports teams across the nation and are leveraging their public platforms to make an impact on the lives of homeless companion animals. They help us broadcast the messages of pet adoption and responsible pet ownership, including the benefits of spaying/neutering, by lending their voices to our cause, volunteering at local shelters, attending fundraisers and making charitable donations.
We believe that providing accurate information about homeless pets will help current and future generations make information decisions about their animals, leading us to a more humane pet population.
Athletes for Animals is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization as recognized by the IRS.
WHAT WE DO
CONNECT ATHLETES WITH A SHARED PASSION FOR ANIMALS
We are focused on bringing together professional athletes by translating individual passions for animals into a powerful collective effort. Our combined time, talent and resources provide a strong platform for change.
EDUCATE ABOUT RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP
The homeless pet population has grown to disturbing proportions – to the point that the number one cause of animal death is euthanasia in overcrowded shelters. By broadcasting a message of responsible pet ownership through our public platforms, we address the root of the problem and reduce the number of homeless pets. Take our pledge to be an All-Star Owner.
PROMOTE PET ADOPTION
We are determined to change the negative perception of homeless animals. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of so many high quality shelters and rescue groups, we believe rescue and shelter animals are safe and worthy companions, ready and deserving of loving homes.
RAISE FUNDS TO SUPPORT BEST PRACTICES IN PET ADOPTION AND CARE
We are attacking pet overpopulation issues by using our public platforms to raise funds to support our cause. We grant those funds to various organizations that demonstrate best practices in pet care and adoption.
What we are NOT
Athletes for Animals is not a physical animal shelter that re-homes adoptable dogs and cats. There are already numerous organizations doing amazing, lifesaving work every day. We are here to lend our voices to these groups in need, to help direct funds and educate others on the importance of adoption and responsible pet ownership.
BACKGROUND ON THE FOUNDERS
Together David and Kelly Backes have experienced over a decade of animal welfare and rescue work. They have witnessed some of Missouri’s worst puppy mills, visited high kill shelters and rehabilitated one of their rescued dogs with a severe abuse and neglect background.
Their journey began in college at Minnesota State University, Mankato where they volunteered at a local shelter and adopted their first cat together. Now, after 10 years in the professional sports world and helping foster and save a countless number of homeless pets, they know more than ever just how important education is when it comes to helping out those in need.
They have years of experience as Board Members at Five Acres Animal Shelter, a no-kill organization in the St. Louis area, that is near to their hearts. There, Kelly served as interim Executive Director and was also the Vice President of the Board. They helped lead this small organization to a bright future through a capital campaign and the construction of a new canine building that is still thriving.
David and Kelly are extremely passionate about teaming up with other athletes to further their efforts. Employing a model they believe in, they are able to help multiple organizations by pairing athletes with shelters and rescue groups.
David and Kelly believe that no matter the standards – age, breed or size – there is an adoptable dog or cat waiting for each and every one of us to step up and help save their life. David says, “When you follow what you love, goodness follows you.”