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Alex Anzalone a flourishing part of two New Orleans teams – the Saints & Animal Rescue New Orleans

Alex anzalone cleats
Michael C Hebert/New Orleans Saints

Most kids have a dog or some kind of family pet while growing up. New Orleans Saints linebacker Alex Anzalone was no different, but his love for animals really began when he adopted his own dog in college.

“That’s really where it all started,” Anzalone told YurView.com via e-mail. “I kind of started seeing the big picture as far as that goes.”

Over about the last 20 months, Anzalone has become an important figure for Animal Rescue New Orleans, doing anything he can to help out. Still, it wasn’t as if he arrived in the Big Easy already with a plan to help rescue animals.

Anzalone spent four years playing football at the University of Florida. In 2017, the New Orleans Saints selected him in the third round. Anzalone explained that after the draft is when he connected with Animal Rescue New Orleans.

“There was a player outreach that came from the Senior Bowl that linked me up with them once I got drafted here and everything like that,” Anzalone said. “They made me fill out a form that said ‘what are you passionate about,’ etc. That kind of was the initial link and ever since then I’ve been helping them out whenever I can.”

It’s clear even from Anzalone’s social media accounts that the organization couldn’t have found a much better representative. While the linebacker fills his Instagram account with football photos, he still sends plenty of love Sammy’s way and to Animal Rescue New Orleans.

 

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Sammy and I are pumped to be a part of the @showyoursoftside campaign against animal cruelty!

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Of course, sometimes that love comes a little at Sammy’s expense.

 

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This was his idea

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Even before Anzalone played a regular season game for the Saints, he was helping out Animal Rescue New Orleans. His fiancé, Lindsey, also helps the organization however she can.

“(We) have done (everything from) laundry for them to taking pictures with dogs and signing pictures of them so whoever wants to adopt a dog (it) incentivizes it.”

From Weeks 13 to 15 in the 2018 NFL season, players from around the league wore cleats as part of the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign. Each player’s cleat had a specific design or message in support of a cause or charity.

This month, the NFL is auctioning those cleats, and all proceedings go to the charities identified by the specific player associated with the cleats.

Anzalone wore his cleats for Animal Rescue New Orleans.

 

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During his second season with the Saints, Anzalone played in all 16 games, starting in seven of them. He recorded 59 total tackles and 2.0 sacks this season along with an interception against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 4. New Orleans beat Los Angeles, 48-45, and in large part because of that result, the Saints will not have to leave New Orleans again until the Super Bowl.

The Saints will open their postseason run at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, who the Saints beat, 48-7, on Nov. 18.

Anzalone ended last season on injured reserve, so this Sunday will be the first NFL playoff game of his career. The Saints have to be glad he’s available to them this postseason, but Animal Rescue New Orleans may be even more excited that Anzalone is a great part of their team and future.