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Olympian Tony Azevedo Adopts Abandoned Kitten

U.S. Olympic water polo captain Tony Azevedo has always considered himself a “dog person” and never really considered adopting a cat—that is, until he saved a cat’s life.

For the last two years, Azevedo has lived in Montenegro playing professional water polo. He says one of the first things that he noticed about the area is how many stray animals there are, especially cats. While there, he and his fellow polo players took to the animals and grew to love them, but they knew that it was only temporary care—as traveling athletes, they couldn’t take the animals on the road.

But then something unexpected happened: Azevedo and his friends heard that some kids had thrown a white kitten into the sea and left her to drown. Azevedo, who has been dubbed “The Savior” in his professional life, leapt into action, proving that his nickname is well earned in more ways than one. Luckily, the kitten was rescued.

Although it seemed difficult to adopt her, Azevedo knew that he wanted to bring the little kitten with him. Ever since, she’s traveled with the team around the U.S., to Mexico, and back and forth to Europe. Azevedo’s experience in Monte Negro changed his life.

“Snow enriches my life in so many ways I never thought possible,” he told PETA. “I always though cats were aloof and unloving, but Snow is the opposite. She sleeps with us in our bed and loves curling up on my chest for warmth. When I get home from practice, she is at the door waiting for me, and meows loudly if it takes too much time for me to open the door.”

The experience also caused him to think more about the problem of animal overpopulation.

“I have been aware of the issue of animal overpopulation for a long time, probably because growing up, my family made a point to always adopt all of our dogs from shelters,” he told PETA. “But living in Montenegro really put the problem into perspective, because not only is there a monumental overpopulation issue there, the government does very, very little to contain the problem or educate the public.” Stray and desperate animals are everywhere, he says, so it’s not a problem that’s easily overlooked.

Here in the States, the problem bothers him, too.

“I don’t understand why humans think they have the right to breed more and more animals, when we already have so many that need to be taken care of,” he says. “We domesticated animals, and they depend on us for their existence. We have a responsibility to take care of them and to provide them with safe and loving homes.”

Azevedo says that living overseas, he learned a lot about how to look out for animals. “If you are traveling abroad and recognize an animal problem or witness disrespect of animal rights, make your concerns known to the local tourist board or government,” he explains. “Make calls, write letters and blog online about what you have seen and experienced. Many governments depend on tourism as their main source of revenue, and if tourists are unhappy about something, that is an impetus for them to do something about it.”

He also encourages people to speak up on social media and to take the time to educate children. “One of the things I noticed while living overseas is that many children have learned from the older generations that animals do not have rights and can be treated like garbage,” he says.

If an Olympic athlete has the time to show an animal love and care, there’s hope that anyone can. It’s just a matter of getting the word out about animal overpopulation. “If this cycle of lack of education can be broken, there is a much better chance that animal rights will eventually be respected globally,” says Azevedo.

We think Snow would agree.

Commenting is closed.
  • sabrina says:

    It is a very cute cat. You are so so kind. May you good luck and take care this cat well.
    Share a site hotsellingbook with some free ebooks available for the pet. Hope it can help you.

  • Donna says:

    Wow, that was a miracle you saved her life. May God bless you and all your pets.

  • Francesco says:

    Thank you Tony for your love to cats and other animals. Many of us women and men are looking for an answer from Life and Compassion. We are looking for relief. And maybe many of us reading Peta-website know or guess that giving compassion IS an answer from life for us to treasure, a gift, and so we guess or know that we can do much more.

    Thank you dear nature- and animal-fellow-friends.

  • Joanne says:

    I just like say a big thanks and express my profound appreciation to Tony for what is doing to champion for animals’ rights. Did i mention how extremely cute that picture is and that his act of kindness and compassion made him such an endearing ( and super sexy ) individual? Superficiality aside, this article is so useful as I just returned from Europe recently and saw many stray animals on the streets. I have to admit my heart was torn between bringing them home with me or just walking away. Tony’s advice has taught me how I can help these animals especially when i am overseas and not able to bring them home with me. Thanks once again and fantastic job, The Saviour!!

  • Manel says:

    It’s nice to see more and more young generation is standing up on behald of the the defenceless animals.

  • Wanda says:

    I loved when Tony Azevedo said that “this cycle of lack of education can be broken” because education is the answer to save the animals.

  • dana says:

    Snow has an excellent pet “dad”. Animals are much more loving loving. giving and smarter than most humans give them I o credit for. I only hope this wakes up more people and instills in them a responsibility for our animal friends.

  • Michelle says:

    While being an olympian is an impressive accomplishment, to me, the more impressive thing is that these guys were willing to show that a real man can show that he has heart and worries about the living beings around them! I’m proud that they represent us as a civilized and caring nation. To me, they’re heroes, especially Azevedo! Thank you and God Bless!!

  • Bridgit says:

    Bravo Tony Azevedo, you are my hero.

    I´m so glad that there are more people thinking the same way as I do.
    Living in Spain is as well very hard cause the older people think the
    same way,animals are garbage and have no soul at all.Or the let them live without neutering.I hope the new generation will be better and understand that animals are something that has right to live as well.

  • dora says:

    very nice person! thanks tony for helping snow.

  • Sue says:

    THANK YOU, can we someone spread this article around??? People can be so mean:(:(

  • chander kumar soni says:

    nice one.

  • Annetta Wright says:

    What a lovely person Azavedo is and what a gorgeous cat.

  • Yvonne says:

    I love this guy! What an advocate for animals, especilly cats which to me are treated far worse than dogs are. Many kill shelters have many more cats than dogs, not to say dogs don’t need homes too!! Thank you Azevedo for speaking up and I hope many more take your advice and speak up about animal abuse and over population.

  • AK says:

    What a sweet story! I love that Snow travels everywhere!!

  • DIRK Clair says:

    Not only does Tony Azevedo have great athletic ability,but even more importanylt he has great consideration,and compassion for animals.God bless him,and Snow,the white kitten he saved,