Canadian Football League player Brady Oliveira doesn’t get a lot of free time, but when he does, he doesn’t spend it as you might imagine.
Instead of relaxing at home or working out with his teammates, the Winnipeg Blue Bomber running back can usually be found trudging through cold, dirty places in search of stray dogs and puppies. As a longtime animal rescue volunteer for K9 Advocates Manitoba, Oliveira has been on more rescue missions than he can count.
K9 Advocates Manitoba is a non-profit that helps First Nation communities with their ever-growing dog population problem. Oliveira grew up near the Peguis First Nation community, and now he spends most of his off-field time feeding and rescuing stray animals in the region.
“I had no idea that this was such an issue in the province that I’m from,” Oliveira said. “But once I saw how many dogs were being abandoned, I knew that I had to help.”
Recently, Oliveira helped evacuate a mother dog and her pups that had been abandoned after dangerous floods tore through the region. The entire community of 1,400 people had been evacuated, but many animals were left behind. A paramedic told Oliveira about the dogs, so he and a friend walked through deep, ice-cold water for over 15 minutes to find them. Once they located the terrified and starving animals, Oliveira carried the adult dog and her pups to safety.
“I have been on, I don’t even know how many rescue missions I’ve been on, a ton, and that definitely is up there for one of the most insane rescue missions that I’ve ever been on and I mean just walking through ice cold water, the highest point it got up to was like mid thigh and that is freezing cold water,” he said.
“It wasn’t just a five-minute walk, from the road to the house it was a 15-minute walk so you’re walking 30 minutes in ice-cold water but then you’re still walking back with an adult dog in your arms all the way back to my truck,” he continued.
Yet no matter how uncomfortable the conditions may be, Oliveira is committed to saving as many dogs as he can. So far he’s rescued 70 dogs in just three years, all while holding down his job on the grid iron!
“I’ll do this ’til the day I die,” he said. “I love being a voice for the voiceless, and that’s what keeps me going back and back, rescue after rescue. It’s just something that is a passion of mine now.”
No matter how successful he may be as a CFL player, Brady Oliveira will always be known as the MVP of animal rescue in our books!
Share this story to thank this athlete for being so dedicated to helping animals.
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