Like most of us, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Malik Jackson loves good dogs (and cats). So Jackson took it upon himself to make the weekend of May 6-7 one of the biggest adoption weekends ever for the Jacksonville Humane Society.
The JHS partnered up with PetSmart Charities, as well as Jackson’s foundation, Malik’s Gifts. It was Jackson’s second go around with JHS after spending time with them in December, where children read books to the dogs.
Lindsay Layendecker, the development manager at JHS, told SB Nation that 181 adoptions were paid for by Jackson during the two-day event. Animals were adopted at the Jacksonville Humane Society and two local PetSmart locations.
“He came on Sunday, and everyone was really excited to see him,” Layendecker said. Jackson was able to meet fans, and meet new families and interact with some of the pets. “The coolest part was when some of the adopters actually got to thank him for providing the adoption fees.”
Jackson enjoyed being around the animals so much, he wanted to take several home with him. Malik’s Gifts director Rodney Smith told SB Nation, “I think he’s going to end up [adopting], he fell in love with about 10 of them.”
The entire event was possible because PetSmart had its national adoption weekend, sponsored by PetSmart charities. With PetSmart able to host the event, Jackson decided to handle the fees for those adopting the pets.
It ended up being one of the biggest weekends for the JHS in terms of dog and cat adoptions, providing timely relief to shelters. “A bunch of the locations were full,” Smith told SB Nation. “This really helped all the centers out where they hold the adoptions.”
Jackson’s been busy with charitable work since he joined the Jaguars in 2016, with nearly $80,000 of Jackson’s own money have been poured into the Jacksonville community.
“Malik has this special quality about him,” Smith said. “Not only did he put up his money, but he makes himself available.”
Layendecker and the Jacksonville Humane Society were thankful to Jackson and the Jaguars for always being supportive of the organization’s efforts.
“We couldn’t save lives without them,” she said.