ST. LOUIS David Backes was searching for an activity to keep busy during the NHL All-Star break, and a decision to combine his passions of flight and animal rescue saved three stray dogs.
Last Friday, Backes, the St. Louis Blues' captain, participated in a seven-hundred mile mission to Houston with his wife, Kelly, and his flight instructor, Tim Voithover. Upon landing, they picked up the animals from a group in the city that is partnered with Five Acres Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter in St. Charles, Mo., for which Kelly serves as a volunteer and board member.
In the process, Backes made progress toward earning a pilot license. On Christmas 2010, Kelly presented her husband with the gift of a flight lesson. Since, the Blues center has worked toward becoming a licensed pilot. The couple is known for animal advocacy around the St. Louis area, and they decided to take advantage of a chance to earn flight hours while advancing a cause close to their hearts.
"I have bee...