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Dog Draft Hits Home for Chargers Organization

While they already share a love for the Bolts, many members of the Chargers organization also share a love for animals.

On April 30, for the first time in team history, the San Diego Chargers, along with Second Chance Dog Rescue will host a Dog Draft presented by Petco.  The Draft will take place at Qualcomm Stadium in Section O-1 where you'll get the opportunity to "draft" the newest member of your team.

Whether they're adopting their own animals or helping their community's shelters, many within the organization are excited to be a part of an event like the Dog Draft.

"For the Chargers to do something different like this is really neat," said Alexis Ruhl, Chargers Owner and Dean Spanos' sister.  "I find that you can't believe how many animal lovers there really are out there until you put on an (animal-oriented) event.  It's never been done by the Chargers before and it's important to engage the community.  To help save the lives of animals hits people in a certain way."

"I think it's a great opportunity for the Chargers to partner with Second Chance and Petco," added Barbie Hendrix, Chargers Guest Services Representative.  "Anything to help foster or rescue animals is dear to my heart."

While Alexis resides in Stockton, she spends as much time as she can raising money for the Stockton Animal Shelter, which has been in the same facility since the 1960s.  For a city with about 300,000 residents, the shelter takes in about 12,000 animals annually. 

"They didn't have any air conditioning or heating for the animals…," said Alexis.  "There was an article in the paper about three years ago and it was summertime, and they said it was about 97 degrees in the kennels.  (For the animals) and the people who work on animals, it was sweltering.  I had no idea."

Alexis was able to add heating and air conditioning units to the facility.  Through hosting annual dinners for the Stockton Animal Fund, she has helped raise over $100,000 per year in just three years which has helped the shelter more than double their live release rate of animals, add full-time veterinary care and a spay and neuter program.

"When we did our event in Stockton, it was sold out.  I couldn't believe how many people showed up that I knew, but had no idea they loved animals and were excited about being a part of it and raising money."

Dog adoption and fostering hit home for Barbie.  After adopting her first dog, she adopted her third from a friend who was fostering it.

"I chose adoption because with that, it's not that you're just rescuing a puppy or a dog, you're also (using the adoption fee) to go towards rescuing so many other animals," she said.  "It's benefitting (the organization) instead of benefitting someone else's personal pocket."

Second Chance runs both adoption and fostering programs and Hendrix believes the latter is a great option if you aren't ready to commit to an animal long-term.

"It's a great opportunity for a person or a couple to experience what it is like to have an animal.  Sometimes it's temporary or sometimes you have the dog a bit longer than you anticipated, but it's a great opportunity to help an animal."

Above all, both Alexis and Barbie hope the Dog Draft will help bring awareness to dog rescue and become a San Diego staple for years to come.

"I would love to see a dog go home with somebody," added Barbie.  "But at the same time, I'd love to see people become more aware that they can go to dog rescues like Second Chance and not just save the animal's life, but also help save other lives as well."

For more information on the event and how you can get involved including links to Second Chance's adoption and fostering forms, please visit: http://www.chargers.com/dogdraft

Note: Not all dogs pictured below may be available for adoption on April 30.

Some of the amazing dogs Second Chance Dog Rescue has rescued.  Note: Not all dogs pictured may be available for adoption on April 30.

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