BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Going to bat for a good cause. That’s what some of Baltimore’s birds, Orioles and Ravens, are doing for a local animal shelter.

Christie Ileto explains why they’re up with some dogs to give back to the community.

Orioles players trade in their bats for the shutterflies of a camera Thursday, sharing the spotlight with four pawed pals, many their own pets.

“You can help out an innocent animal and do something that can give them a home most importantly and give them a loving family. We learn throughout our life, they can give you as much love as you can give them back,” said O’s catcher Matt Wieters.

Catcher Matt Wieters is one of many O’s posing with animals from the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, or BARCS, to create a 2013 pet calendar.

Proceeds help the shelter, and Wieters’ family is pitching in for the cause.

“All of our animals are rescues, it’s a very important cause to us,” said wife Maria Wieters.

BARCS helps about 12,000 abused, unwanted animals a year, but it isn’t cheap. They budget $2 million a year to do it.

“Having the players support hopefully will bring more people to also help our organization,” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS.

The calendars will cost about $15. Last year, the Orioles helped raise more than $50,000 for the cause. Organizers are hoping this year will also be a success.

“They definitely have a lot of support, but the more the merrier, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith.

The Ravens’ Torrey Smith is in for the assist this week, bowling for BARCS. Asking fans, in lieu of wedding gifts, to support the shelter.

“At the end of the day, your gifts will be appreciated by us if you give it to us. But it would mean a lot more to us personally if you just help out BARCS,” he said.

That way BARCS can keep helping the city’s unwanted animals.

Those calendars go on sale later this season.

Nearly all the BARCS dogs and cats featured in the calendar are up for adoption, and of course, there are many others.


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