Sven Baertschi loves animals so much he is willing to live in a cage to raise money for their well-being.
The Vancouver Canucks forward and his girlfriend, Laura Calvert, are going to lock themselves in a kennel Friday until they raise $4,000 for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as part of the organization's Lock-In for Love fundraiser.
"There's a lot of animals in need," Baertschi said. "So what we're trying to do is bring awareness to what's really going on around B.C. I'm going to lock myself in and try to raise as much money as I can, and I hope I can get out."
This is not the first time Baertschi and Calvert have gone behind bars to raise money for animals. Two years ago, when Baertschi was a member of the Calgary Flames, he joined teammates Brian McGrattan and Matt Stajan and their wives, by locking themselves in the kennel at the Alberta Animal Rescue Society.
When the BCSPCA asked Baertschi and his girlfriend to take part in a similar promotion in Vancouver, they jumped at the opportunity.
"We do a lot of stuff here with people and children's hospitals, and it's an awesome thing to do," Baertschi said. "But we can't forget about our best friends. [Animals] are a big part of our lives. … There are cats in need. There are dogs in need. And sometimes people forget about it. So we're trying to bring awareness to local dog shelters and all these animals that are left out in the world."
Baertschi owns a 3-year-old Siberian Husky named Bear and said he always has been an animal lover. By raising money and awareness for BCSPCA, he is joining in their fight to rescue animals and help shut down inhumane puppy mills.
"It seems impossible, but [BCSPCA] keep fighting," Baertschi said. "All we can do is help them."
Anyone interested in donating to the cause can do so here.