Washington Capitals players participated in the 2018 Capitals Canine Calendar photo shoot to benefit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Oct. 23.
Video: #CapsCanineCalendar Photo Shoot | October 23
Players photographed included Nicklas Backstrom, Madison Bowey, Alex Chiasson, Christian Djoos, Tyler Graovac, Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Aaron Ness, Dmitry Orlov, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker and Tom Wilson with dogs available for adoption through Homeward Trails. Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Taylor Chorney, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin were photographed with their own dogs.
Capitals defenseman John Carlson adopted his dog, Bronco, from Homeward Trails in 2014.
"We got into adopting a shelter dog because we were fostering a bunch of dogs first," Carlson said. "Eventually we found one for us and that was our way to help. We fell in love with Bronco and had to keep him. Homeward Trails is a great organization so we're happy to come out and do the photoshoot to help them with their cause."
Players showcased their personal style in the photos. Photography services were donated by Virgil Ocampo Photography.
A limited number of 2018 Caps Canine Calendars will be available for $20 beginning Friday, Nov. 24, when the Capitals host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Calendars will be available for purchase at the team stores at Capital One Arena and Kettler Capitals Iceplex. They will also be available at team store stands throughout the arena and online.
One hundred percent of proceeds benefit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Homeward Trails is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides pet adoption in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Homeward Trails seeks to find permanent adoptive homes in the Mid-Atlantic region for dogs and cats from high-kill shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. They seek to reduce the rate of euthanasia of adoptable animals through the rescue and placement of homeless animals; to support proactive spay/neuter practices; to promote positive and ongoing behavioral training; and to educate the public about how to care for their animals in a humane way. Homeward Trails not only facilitates adoptions from local shelters, but also supports a large network of foster care providers who take homeless dogs and cats into their homes, care for them, rehabilitate them when needed, and prepare them for their permanent adoptive homes. For more information on Homeward Trails, visit http://www.homewardtrails.org/.
"This particular effort supports our medical funds," said Sue Bell, Homeward Trails executive director. "That helps us take in and care for over 200 dogs who come to us with treatable injuries and illnesses that are generally very expensive. Those are the dogs who are generally left behind to be euthanized - so without these efforts, 200 fewer dogs would be helped. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to save the lives of those dogs."
The Capitals have raised nearly $182,000 for Homeward Trails through sales of the Canine Calendar since 2014.