As an animal-lover, Jabari Arthur readily agreed to hop on board when fellow CFLer Chris Cvetkovic asked him to take part in a mission of mercy.
“He asked me if I would like to help him out with his organization — Cvet’s Pets,” explained the Calgary Stampeders receiver. “He also teamed up with CANDi, which is Cats and Dogs International, and he told me there was an opportunity to go down to Mexico at a spay-and-neuter clinic. He asked me if I’d like to go, and I said ‘Sure.’
“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into but, nonetheless, we went down to Mexico. To be honest with you, it was an eye-opening experience and life-changing. I didn’t know there were people who love animals as much as some of the people we saw down there. And I didn’t know people could mistreat their animals as much as what I saw.”
This wasn’t a tourist trip for Arthur and the other CFL players who took part. They assisted veterinarians at the clinic in surgery preparation and worked in the recovery room.
“We even went out and rescued a few dogs by going door to door,” said Arthur. “I absolutely loved what we were doing down there. Like I said, it was a great experience.
“We saw dogs that were within days of dying — skinny, malnourished, dehydrated. Some animals were even abused. We had an opportunity to rescue them and within days of giving them food and a little bit of care, you see a change in them. That’s a great feeling when a vet says, ‘Yeah, you saved this dog’s life.’ ”
Arthur was already fond enough of animals that he has a pet cat named Simba, but the trip to Mexico had a profound impact on him.
“I’ve always loved animals,” he noted, “but going down there and having the opportunity to be around the veterinarians and other people who just love animals, it just made my own love for animals increase a little bit more.
“I’m hoping and praying that I’ll have more opportunities in the future to be a voice for animals who don’t have a voice. This was my first time and it definitely won’t be my last. I’m hoping other opportunities will present themselves.”