BACKGROUND ON THE FOUNDERS
David and Kelly Backes have a passion for supporting a variety of animal welfare initiatives and philanthropic endeavors. Over the years, they have devoted their time to dozens of animal shelters and rescues, visited some of the nations most dire puppy mills and helped find homes for a few special dogs from Sochi, Russia during the 2014 Olympic Games.
Following years of volunteering at the local humane society in college, their dedication to animals was amplified when they first fostered and later adopted Rodney, a severely abused and neglected dog from Stray Rescue of St. Louis. The couple helped rehabilitate him and say he is their inspiration for the start of their efforts. Now, after 14 years in the professional sports world, they know the importance of awareness and education 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 still close 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 million dollar 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 have helped foster and save a countless number of homeless pets. To this day they continue to help organizations across North America by pairing athletes with shelters and granting funds to rescue groups in need. They currently live in California with their 5 year old daughter Stella, 3 year old son Dawson and share their home with their rescue dogs Maverick and Kona.
The dedicated couple believes that no matter the standards – age, breed or size – there is an adoptable animal 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.”