Editor's note: We are re-sharing some of the best moments and most important stories of 2020. Although it was a difficult year for nearly all of us, there were also shining moments of light and signs of hope. This was one of them.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Sunday. You know who also was a big winner after the game? Over 100 shelter dogs at the KC Pet Project.
Kansas City defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi is celebrating the Chiefs' victory by paying the adoption fees for every dog currently available on the site.
"KC Pet Project cares for over 10,000 pets a year, so partnerships like this are so wonderful to help our pets find loving, forever homes. We're thrilled and honored that Derrick Nnadi chose to do this to help us save lives in Kansas City," Tori Fugate, Chief Communications Officer at KCPP, said according to NBC News.
"Our community is on cloud nine following last night's win and this is such a heartwarming story to go along with this huge victory," she continued.
People have been flocking to the shelter since the announcement.
"We had a huge line of people at our locations this morning to adopt, which is just wonderful! So far, many pets are going home and we're so excited for them," Fugate said.
Nnadi is passionate about pet adoption after falling in love with his first dog, Rocky, that he adopted while in college.
"All my life I always wanted a dog," Nnadi told CNN. "Growing up I didn't have a pet, my parents didn't really allow pets."
"When I first got him, he was very timid," Nnadi continued. "It made me think of how other animals, whether they're owned or in a shelter, are feeling scared and alone."
This isn't the first time he's helped out the KC Pet Project. Earlier in the season, he pledged to pay the adoption fees for one dog every time the Chiefs won. That's 15 games, including the postseason.
KC Pet Project has a fantastic track record for helping dogs, cats, bunnies and other pets find forever homes. Last year, it had a 95.2% save rate and adopted 7,619 pets.
The organization plays a vital role in animal services for Kansas City by managing its animal shelter. KC Pet Project has also put in a bid to take over the city's entire animal control division.
The Kansas City animal control division has been criticized for being "far too ineffective at rescuing animals, while sometimes being too quick to reunite them with abusive owners."
"Animal control is still operating the way that it has been. We need that to change," animal rights activist Carol Coe told The Star. "Nobody sees it changing as long as it's under the auspices of the city. It's just been a long slog trying to get them to believe it can be different."
"I think the mentality would be completely different if KC Pet Project were running it," Coe adds, describing that mentality as one of "sheer will."
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