Recently I have become involved with BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter). As the owner of two shelter dogs, this is an organization that is very close to my heart. Many of team Teltek’s employees have opened their hearts and homes to dogs and cats who were homeless. BARCS is an animal shelter in Baltimore City that has a great program which allows some of the dogs to get out for a few hours to socialize a bit and hopefully find someone to adopt them.
My friend Jessica is trained as a handler for BARCS and is permitted to escort dogs from the shelter to specific events for socialization and she invited me to come with her on a Ravens tailgating outing at the Ravens/Jets home football game. We arrived at the shelter to pick up Jack, one of the pitbulls who resides at the shelter. A large percentage of the dogs at BARCS are pitbulls and it can be difficult to find them homes at times. Jack was carefully selected as a candidate for this program since he is good-natured and well behaved.
We gave Jack a few minutes to run in BARCS’s outdoor play area so he could release some energy and take care of..uh…personal matters. If you are not familiar with BARCS, you may be surprised to learn that it’s located very close to M&T Stadium on Stockholm Street. When Jack was finished, we fitted him with a very fashionable vest that had the words “Adopt Me” printed on the side of it and we were off!
The objective was twofold; find Jack a home and raise money for the shelter. I have never been to a Ravens game before or tailgating and really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how receptive the Ravens fans were to Jack and our mission. It became crystal clear why Jack was such an ideal choice for this type of excursion. He remained calm despite the abundance of noise; loud music, sirens, cheering, etc. Many people are wary of pitbulls, but not this crowd! Jack was welcomed with open arms and was equally responsive to the affection he was shown.
We were peppered with questions about his age, temperament and how long he’d been at the shelter. The three of us made a good team as we worked to bring awareness to how great a dog Jack is and how wonderful BARCS is. The generosity of those Ravens fans was apparent as well; after a few hours we had raised $70 in cash to donate to the shelter.
Although Jack did not find a home that day, I can assure you he had a wonderful time! Some of his fans gave him hot dogs right off the grill, others gave him hugs or told him over and over again what a good boy he was.
In the midst of writing this blog, I went to the BARCS website to find a photo of Jack and did not see him on the Adoptable Pets page. I emailed my contact at the shelter and learned that Jack had been adopted! Did his day of tailgating have anything to do with that? I like to think so 😀
Please remember BARCS if you are looking to adopt a pet or wish to make a contribution to their facility. They are always looking for volunteers, so keep that in mind as well. BARCS has many fundraising events throughout the year, including BARCStoberfest, occurring this Saturday, October 22nd from 11 to 4 at Patterson Park.
Thanks again to all the big-hearted Ravens fans who donated to Jack and the shelter. GO RAVENS!!!