LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two prominent Vegas Golden Knights players are using their celebrity status to raise awareness, after each adopted a dog from an organization that saves them from slaughter overseas.
Star defenseman and original Golden Knight Shea Theodore is known for his star-power on the ice, but many have yet to learn about his love for his two dogs.
“I come in the room and they’re both pretty excited,” Theodore told 8 News Now’s Sasha Loftis. “And they’ll jump around.”
Theodore and his fiancée, Mariana Alston, introduced us to Bruce and Max, a dog they recently adopted.
“It seems like when one guy gets one,” Theodore explained. “The next guy is like, ‘hey it’s been awesome for us.'”
Fellow Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud and his girlfriend, Madison Wedderspoon, also have a rescue pup — they recently welcomed ‘Walley’ into their home.
“We love all the Goldens,” Wedderspoon said. “And they are probably a team favorite.”
These team favorites didn’t come from a local shelter, but instead traveled more than 6,000 miles.
“You’re saving a dog from a situation where it’s not ideal,” Theodore said. “And a lot of them need saving.”
This all happens with help from Danielle Roth and Jon Lapolla of Retriever Rescue of Las Vegas.
“There’s nothing like it in the world,” Roth said of the dogs she saves. “The love they will give you back.”
Since 2019, Roth and Lapolla have made it their mission to rescue dogs like Max and Walley from devastating lives in South Korea.
“In certain countries, especially Korea, which is our target,” Roth explained. “We have a chance of ending what is known as dog meat farms and dog meat slaughterhouses.”
So far, they’ve found 528 of them loving families, but their work is ever changing, as they try to end animal cruelty with help from prominent families in our community.
“They really wanted to help, and they really wanted to make a difference,” Roth said of The Golden Knights. “Most of them aren’t from Las Vegas, and they have accepted our city in such amazing ways.”
Danielle added that this kind of celebrity support has really put her cause on the map, and she can’t begin to describe how much that means.
“It’s amazing because children reach out,” Roth continued. “And Zach is their star, Theodore is their star.”
The Golden Knights have proven their power to lift our city, and now they’re using their potential to change the world.
“Just knowing the difference that like even we made,” Alston told 8 News Now. “Just in Max’s life.”
These dogs may not be ‘Vegas Born,’ but the life they scored means they will always win.
“When you give a dog a loving home and food and everything they need,” Theodore concluded. “It’s very rewarding.”
Four dogs are now up for adoption through Retriever Rescue of Las Vegas, named Shea, Zach, Mariana, and Maddy. If you’re interested in giving any of them a loving home, you can apply through this link.
You can visit Retriever Rescue’s Facebook page here, and can visit their Instagram and Twitter pages at @retrieverrescuelv.
The organization is also holding an online auction from Feb. 22 to Mar. 6 to raise money for the rescue. For more information, visit this link.