For animal lovers, it was like Community Tuesday and Christmas rolled into one.
And it was puppy love at first sight.
“They’re just so happy,” said safety Matthias Farley. “It puts things in perspective. These dogs’ lives are kind of up in the bounce and they’re all so happy and there are puppies over there that are adorable.”
A dog lover and owner himself, Farley had this event on his calendar for months.
“I’ve been looking forward to this since the first week I was here,” he said. “They had a little signup sheet that said, ‘Things that you would like to do.’ I was like, ‘We need to go play with animals.’ So, this is awesome.”
And the feeling was mutual.
“That’s one of the greatest things about this experience for us is just having the Colts come out and the media exposure that comes along with it and just letting the community know that we have great pets – wonderful pets that are looking for great homes,” said Jeremy VanAndel, Chief Development Officer at Indy Humane.
“It’s good because having a shelter dog and knowing the kind of joy they bring to our lives, any opportunity we have to come here and walk them, to have fun with them, and bring some joy to their lives, it’s kind of like paying them back,” said tackle Anthony Castonzo. “No matter how my day goes, I come home and Charles thinks I’m the best person in the world.”
Center Jonotthan Harrison also rescued his dog, Bear. And they’ve been best friends ever since.
“Being an animal lover, you can tell when an animal appreciates something that you do,” he said. “Just seeing their tail wag and the look on their face, their ears perk up, really puts a smile on my face.”
Offensive lineman Denzelle Good is a dog owner as well, but it was something else that captured his heart on Tuesday.
“I’m actually falling in love with some of the kittens over here. They’re so cute,” he told Colts.com’s Caroline Cann. “I’ve never been a cat person, but I just can’t stand the cuteness.”
Guard Jack Mewhort is also an animal lover.
“I say it all the time, I can barely take care of myself, so I’m not ready for a dog yet,” he said. “But to be able to come out here and see the puppies and the older dogs and the cats – it’s awesome, it’s so much fun, and it’s something that I look forward to every year.”
Colts Vice Chair and Owner Kalen Jackson is the owner of two dogs and a cat she adopted from Indy Humane. A longtime supporter of the shelter, on Giving Tuesday, she presented them with a check for $5,000 from the Colts.
“They don’t receive any funding other than donations. They don’t receive any governmental funding. I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize based on the name, because some humane societies do,” she said. “They’re also a no-kill shelter, which is another big thing that changed a few years back.”
To some, they’re animals.
But to others, a pet is a loved one, a family member, and even a mentor.
“What inspires people about animals is their constant joy, never faltering love, and affection that they have,” said Jackson. “They may have been treated horribly by humans in the past, but they’re able to relearn that they can be safe again and that we’re not all like that. I think it’s just a beautiful thing to look at as a human and the way we treat each other.”
Pets are pure love.
And as the official sponsors of love, the Humane Society of Indianapolis wants to help people bring a little more love into their lives.
For more information or to find your new best friend, visit: http://indyhumane.org.
To see more photos from the Colts’ visit, go to: http://www.colts.com/photos/photo-gallery/Community-Tuesday—2016-Humane-Society-of-Indianapolis/60a029c4-8ba6-45aa-9de2-74f5f19b7908#start.
From school and hospital visits to youth football camps and holiday outreach, Colts players participate in a wide variety of “Community Tuesday” activities throughout the season. Colts Community Tuesdays are supported in part by CBS4.