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Riley's Rescues sponsors pet adoption

by Craig Peterson / Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings center Riley Sheahan makes monthly visits to the Michigan Humane Society during the season and spends time with the animals in an effort to raise awareness about pet adoption. (Photo by Christy Hammond/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT — A half-grin came across Riley Sheahan’s face as he shook his head at the potential of adopting a pet through his own player program, Riley’s Rescues.

“No (laughs) not yet,” he said. “It’s so hard going in there and not taking one but it’s just tough because we’re traveling so much.”

The rigors of an NHL schedule may prevent Sheahan from raising an adopted pet from the Michigan Humane Society but it won’t stop him from encouraging other people to do so on his behalf. Each month, Sheahan sponsors an animal at the shelter through Red Wings social media to support the pet adoption process in Detroit.

“I go once a month,” Sheahan said. “I’m gonna try to go more because I love going there. It’s fun, they’ve got a good group there and it’s fun to be around the animals.”

Sheahan will donate $100 for every point he records during the 2014-15 season to the MHS emergency rescue program. During his visits, Sheahan spends time with the animals and takes them outside to exert some energy and enjoy some play time. The cause is a special one for Sheahan as his family has always had a dog at home. Being able to raise awareness and support pet adoption is important for both Sheahan and the humane society.

“It’s massive,” Ryan McTigue, public relations coordinator for the Michigan Humane Society. “To get more exposure for our animals and for more people to see that there are great pets in shelters, not just at the Michigan Humane Society but across the country that shelter animals are great animals and to have the support of Riley and have him kind of be that voice for us and letting people know that there are wonderful pets that you can find and adoption is the best way to go. It’s going to be great and it’s going to be really positive for all of our animals.”

The Michigan Humane Society is a private, nonprofit charitable animal welfare organization. It is the largest and oldest animal welfare organization in the state, caring for tens of thousands of animals each year. Since 2010, the humane society has found homes for 100 percent of the healthy dogs and cats in its care and looks to end companion animal homelessness by providing the highest quality service and compassion to the animals.

Depending on the generosity of individual and corporate supporters to fund the humane society’s programs and services, the MHS operates out of three centers located in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland. There, they provide emergency rescue year-round and reuniting more than 1,000 lost animals with their owners each year in addition to the pet adoption process.

“Yea it’s definitely an eye opener,” Sheahan said. “It’s a cool spot. You can tell the passion all the workers have towards the animals, it’s definitely really cool to see.”

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