Mark Buehrle is an all-star pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays on the baseball diamond, but at Hope Animal Rescues in St. Louis, MO, he’s just another volunteer.
“It’s actually pretty funny because people would think being a professional ball player he’s really arrogant, but he’ really not,” explains Jen Jernigan, a volunteer who is friends with Buehrle and his wife, Jamie.
The Buehrles first got involved with the organization in 2008 when they made a donation. Since then they have donated their own time to the animals as well.
“He goes out there with brush hogs, pulls weeds, scoops poop, and I mean he does it all out there,” says Jernigan about the pitcher whose home town is in the southern state’s St. Charles County.
Hope Animal Rescues first started after Hurricane Katrina when hundreds of dogs needed help. Now, years later, the organization continues to find homes for abandoned pets.
Buehrle currently has dogs of his own, one he adopted from Hope Animal Rescue. His love for his four legged friends isn’t just restricted to spending his time caring for them. In 2013, when the athlete was traded to Toronto, he decided to live apart from his family because Ontario has a ban on pit bulls and related breeds. The restriction meant one of his dogs, an American Staffordshire terrier Slater, wouldn’t be allowed to move with them so the family and the dog stayed behind while he moved by himself to Canada, coming to visit whenever he can.
“If people don’t own dogs, they’re not going to understand you’re leaving your family and your kids behind over a dog,” said Buerhle at the time according to Deadspin. “He’s an awesome dog. That’s what’s a shame; just the way he looks is why we have to get separated.”
Way to go, Buehrle!
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