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NHL Star Backes Celebrates Wedding Anniversary at Animal Sanctuary

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A traditional gift for a couples’ 5th wedding anniversary is something made of wood, but NHL star, David Backes and wife celebrated with something different: fluff.

Backes, who is captain of the St. Louis Blues, and his wife, Kelly, visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in America. The couple, animal lovers who regularly rescue and foster dogs back home in St. Louis, didn’t just tour the facility – they dove right in and helped.

The sanctuary shelters 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, and other animals, so there’s plenty of work to be done. The couple played with kittens, which helps socialize the felines, making them more adoptable. They walked an elderly special needs dog and did chores in one of the dog buildings. Backes offered to scoop poop, saying he has “plenty of practice with our own four dogs at home.” The couple also did an overnight visit in one of the sanctuary’s cottages with a pit bull named Vince. The overnight visit gives an animal special one-on-one treatment, and allows potential caregivers a glimpse of how an animal would do in a home-like setting.

Touring the sanctuary, meeting the animals, and hearing their back-stories made a lasting impression on the Backeses, who now have “the inspiration to dream big” in creating their own charity.

Photo credit: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

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