Big League Stew - MLB

Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle(notes) is already known for a lot of good things.

• A perfect game in 2009 and a no-hitter in 2007.

• A save against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series.

• A Gold Glove pitcher, a foil for Joe West, and a hometown boy who says he wants to throw for the St. Louis Cardinals someday, then maybe retire early.

The latest addition to Buehrle's public resume and reputation, however, is something that even a Chicago Cubs fan can applaud.

• An animal lover who stepped up to help a poor dog (above) that was found last week in Godfrey, Ill., with a hunting arrow piercing its side.

[Video Rewind: Watch Mark Buehrle's ridiculous play from Opening Day 2010]

In a feel-good story that's quickly making the Internet rounds, Buehrle and his wife, Jamie, have agreed to pay the medical expenses for "Shelby," a female Sheltie mix who's recovering at Hawthorne Animal Hospital. The Buehrles found out about Shelby's story on Facebook and immediately wanted to help, so they've pledged to handle her medical bills, which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports are nearly $3,000 "and climbing."

From the Alton Telegraph:

"Mark and his wife, Jamie, are big animal lovers — they help a lot of shelters and rescues — and they volunteer for us," said Jackie Spiker of Hope Animal Rescues, who agreed to assume care for the dog from Madison County Animal Control. "They're really good people."

Considering that Buehrle makes $14 million a year to pitch for the Sox, that $3,000 doesn't rank as a huge amount for his pocket book. But the Buehrles' support for animals goes way past financial. They started "Sox For Strays," a monthly adoption program for homeless pets at U.S. Cellular Field last season and have proven to be friends of Midwestern dogs with plenty of past volunteer work.

[Related: A happy ending for most of Vick's dogs]

Of course, friends were exactly what Shelby — who is about 4 years old — needed when she was discovered. Though no one's sure if she was shot on accident or purpose, she was given up on by her owners. Despite the dog being micro-chipped, the Telegraph reports the owners didn't bother to report her missing for six weeks and then immediately surrendered ownership when Shelby was found last week. 

It won't be known for about seven to 10 days if Shelby will recover enough to become an adoptable dog for a good home. But thanks to the concern of people like Mark and Jamie Buehrle, at least she now has a chance.   

* * * 

From the Post-Dispatch: "Shelby's expenses are covered, but Spiker said Hope Animal Rescues always welcomes donations for its ongoing work. For more information about Hope Animal Rescues, visit www.hoperescues.com or call 618-463-9983 or write to the organization at 3701 Coronado Drive, Alton, Ill. 62002." 

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