In the hot late-May sun, the only thing sunnier in Camden Yards than the dogs’ toothy grins were those of the players holding them.
On Wednesday, the Orioles shot photos for their 2019 Orioles Pet Calendar, which will feature players posing with adoptable pups and kittens.
The calendar, which will feature Joey Rickard, Miguel Castro and Manny Machado, among others, have raised over $320,000 for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS) over the past eight years.
BARCS is the largest shelter in Maryland, taking in over 12,000 homeless pets annually.
“A lot of these animals are trying to be adopted, so we’re trying to get them used to being around humans again,” said Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman, who posed with 2-year-old silky terrier Daisy and 8-week-old orange kitten Nemo.
In 2017, Gausman and his wife, Taylor, started the program “Tails with Tales” in partnership with BARCS, pairing children learning to read with adoptable animals.
“They have about a thousand animals that come in every month,” Gausman said. “Think of how many of those animals who need homes and people who are willing and able to give them a home. It’s such a great environment.”
Other Orioles who will appear in the calendar include Richard Bleier, Chris Davis, Craig Gentry, Mychal Givens, Adam Jones, Darren O’Day, Chance Sisco and Mark Trumbo.
The animals, however, will likely be settled into new homes by then.
“But this does give them some pre-exposure,” said Jennifer Brause, the founder and executive director of BARCS. “We also put on their cage that they’re going to be on the calendar to market them a little more.”
The full-color calendar will be available for purchase for $15 later this season.