Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is giving a voice to the voiceless.
Wilson, who has always been exceptionally charitable, is partnering with the Banfield Foundation to raise awareness for the often unseen victims of domestic violence – pets.
In the United States, less than 10% of shelters for domestic abuse victims are animal-friendly, leaving many sufferers with the difficult choice between staying in a dangerous situation or seeking help, but leaving their beloved pet behind and at risk.
“It’s heartbreaking when you think about how nearly half of domestic violence victims stay in these situations and relationships because they’re worried and concerned about the safety of their pets,” Wilson told AOL.com.
Each year since 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been held in New York City to celebrate all different types of canines — from beagles to boxers, chihuahuas to collies, anyone can be named Best In Show.
But what about cats?
While cats can’t take place in the actual show (it is the “Dog Show,” after all), they have finally been given a spot in the festivities.
To former tennis pro Andy Roddick’s 16-month-old son, everything is “Bob.”
Couches, horses, anything that’s not Mama or Dada — it’s “Bob.”
The adorable habit comes from one of Roddick’s two dogs, a four-year-old English bulldog named Bob Costas (yes, like that Bob Costas). The family also has a female bulldog named Billie Jean (yes, like that Billie Jean), who is nine.
“He loves them,” the 2003 US Open winner said of his son and the dogs. “[He] goes and lays on the dogs and it’s just like he knows they’re a part of everyday life, too.”
Roddick, a lifelong dog owner and lover, speaks highly of his bulldogs — but when it came time to pick his Purina Pro Plan bracket for the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the breed did not fare very well.
“I’ve seen my dogs too much to know they’re not gonna win,” he joked.
Picture this: You’re on a grassy hillside in Central America, cloaked by the soft warmth of the sun, surrounded by hundreds of dogs who want nothing more than to lick your face. That’s the dream, right? Well, guess what — for just the price of a plane ticket to Costa Rica, all your dreams can come true.
Territorio de Zaguates (‘Land of the Strays’) in the middle of Costa Rica is home to more than 750 stray dogs who have been saved from the streets. Funded totally by donations, the massive sanctuary serves as a place for these dogs to roam safely and freely while being provided with food, medical care and love.
(Photo via REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)