Pet adoption is so important, as animal shelters are packed with animals in need of good homes. Baltimore Ravens player Ronnie Stanley shared the heartwarming details of his personal animal rescue story. He and his girlfriend, Emily, went to BARCS shelter with his teammate Alexander Lewis on a mission to adopt a dog, but they had something specific in mind before they walked in.
Stanley approached the front desk of the animal shelter with a very specific request, explaining to the staff member: “We are looking for a dog that’s been here a long time and maybe not-so-adoptable.”
Naturally, the staff of BARCS was happy with his request, as many dogs sit in the shelter for years because they aren’t perceived by most as adoptable prospects. This includes animals with health issues or senior animals.
Stanley and his girlfriend decided on Winter, a 6-year-old dog who had been through many challenges in her life.
BARCS wrote about the dog and his new forever family on Facebook:
“Beautiful Winter is a dog who has spent most of her six years of life falling into sad, unfortunate situations. She was found on a vacant property, on a hot day with no electricity, or open windows. She was dehydrated and extremely frightened. Winter has a long, hanging belly, most likely a result of over breeding–something we see far too often at our shelter. Due to her age, her belly is not something that will ever tighten up. Female dogs with such characteristics are often passed by in our shelter–but not by Ronnie!”
The shelter noted that Ronnie’s response to her belly was one of pure acceptance, as he noted: “Well, that’s just what happens when you’ve had babies.” The BARCS post continued: “He was much more interested in getting lots of face kisses from Winter and falling in love, rather than being worried about the appearance of her tummy. What a great guy!”
The shelter added: “Once a discarded pup, now the doggy-daughter to a Raven. We are so proud to have amazing guys like Ronnie to be role models to the kids in our city. Not only does his single act of kindness make adoption cool, but it makes giving love to an imperfectly perfect dog a ‘manly’ thing to do.
Have a happy, happy life Winter.”
The couple renamed the dog Lola, who now enjoys a beautiful and spoiled life, running in a big backyard and sleeping on her humans’ bed.
Stanley not only adopted Lola, but also adopted another dog from BARCS. He further paid it forward by participating in a fundraising campaign for the shelter, matching donations up to $5,000.
Those weighing in with comments on the Facebook post were understandably impressed with the athlete, with one commenter noting: “Thank you Ronnie Stanley #79 and your girlfriend for adopting Winter. I will be applauding you at all the Raven’s games this year. You are a role model for children and adopters.”
Another commenter added: “Ronnie, you have a beautiful heart, looking over Winter’s outer appearance, knowing that true beauty in on the inside! Although, I think Winter is beautiful on the outside too.”