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Compassion in the Community | February 2022

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and there are plenty of ways to show some love to the animals of the Virginia Beach SPCA. Here are some ways our community is giving back this February.

VBSPCA Wags and Whiskers Gala – Tickets on Sale February 1st
Get ready to join the VBSPCA for our biggest fundraising event of the year! Our Wags and Whiskers Gala is back, and this year it takes the shape of a Twilight Extravaganza with food, drinks, games, entertainment, and some spectacular surprises. It all takes place on Saturday, April 2nd from 7-11pm at New Realm Brewing Company. Tickets will be available February 1st. Click here to learn more.

Love is in the Air – All Month Long
Throughout the month of February, we want to spread love to the homeless animals of the VBSPCA as they wait to find loving homes. For every donation of $5 or more, we will post a heart with your name on it in our shelter to showcase how much our community cares.

Each donation will go directly to the VBSPCA Miracle Medical Fund, which provides each of the animals who come through our doors with the medical care they need. From vaccines to lifesaving surgeries, your donations will ensure homeless animals get their second chance. Stop by our shelter or donate via our Facebook or Instagram posts to make your $5 donation to provide critical care. Thank you for spreading some love to homeless animals in our community!

Puppy Bowl at Smartmouth Pilot House – February 13th
Make your plans to watch two VBSPCA pups participate in this year’s Puppy Bowl! Our friends at Smartmouth Brewing will be showing the Puppy Bowl at the Smartmouth Pilot House and have even created a special beer for the occasion! It takes place at 2pm on Sunday, February 13th. While you’re enjoying the big game, be sure to try a VBSPCA Second Chance Sour Ale, a limited small batch production of Zoinks by Smartmouth Brewing Company. If you’d rather watch from your own couch, the brewery will also be selling four packs to take home. A portion of beer sales will be donated to the VBSPCA.

VBSPCA Membership Drive – Now through April 30th
Join the VBSPCA mission and become a member! Our goal is to welcome 100 new VBSPCA members by April 30th. For as little as $10 a month, you’ll provide critical support to our shelter. Membership gives homeless animals hope for tomorrow and comes with a variety of perks like a member T-shirt, magnet, discounts on adoptions and merchandise, and pet parent resources. Click here to become a member today.

All Year Long – Sustainable Support

Andy’s Paw Prints
Order a custom pet portrait from Andy’s Paw Prints, and 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the VBSPCA! This is a great way to support our animals while celebrating the special pets in your life. Andy’s Paw Prints supports various animal shelters, so click here for our referral link to order your custom pet portrait.

Kroger Plus
You can help homeless animals anytime you buy groceries at Kroger! Simply sign up, swipe your Plus Card when you shop, and a portion of the sale will be donated back to the VBSPCA! Sign up to participate here.

Host a Fundraiser through Bonfire
Create a t-shirt to benefit the animals of the VBSPCA! Bonfire makes it easy – upload your design, select the VBSPCA as the nonprofit, and they take it from there. This is a great way to support the animals while also putting some style out there in the community. Learn more here.

Nextdoor
Paypal Giving Fund has partnered with Nextdoor in order to bring charities a new way to gain support from their communities. With Nextdoor’s Sell for Good, neighbors can support charities by simply buying and selling items on the For Sale & Free marketplace. Sellers will now have the option to donate proceeds to benefit nonprofits like the VBSPCA through the PayPal Giving Fund. Click here to get started today!

Become a Member
As a VBSPCA Member, every adoption we complete, every wildlife animal we rescue, every child we reach, and every pet we treat in our clinic connects back to you. YOU make our mission possible, and all it takes is $10 a month. Plus, VBSPCA members receive exclusive perks and discounts in gratitude for their dedication to sustaining our mission! Interested? Click here to become a VBSPCA Member.

#VBStrong
In solidarity with our two legged and four-legged community, VBStrong T-shirts and tanks are available at the VBSPCA shelter, located at 3040 Holland Road. 100% of the proceeds from these VBStrong shirts will go to families of those who were lost on May 31st, 2019.

The Virginia Beach SPCA is incredibly grateful for the continued support from our local community. If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser or event supporting the VBSPCA, please contact our Outreach Department at outreach@vbspca.com.

VBSPCA Pups to Play in Puppy Bowl

Two Virginia Beach SPCA pups will be playing in this year’s Puppy Bowl! Heidi and Sammie were both selected for Team Fluff, who will take on Team Ruff in the cutest matchup you’ll ever see.

While the big game is a few weeks away, it’s never too early to start planning for such an adorable event. Here’s how you can watch the Puppy Bowl and cheer on Heidi and Sammie:

At the Smartmouth Pilot House
Our friends at Smartmouth Brewing will be showing the Puppy Bowl at the Smartmouth Pilot House and have even created a special beer for the occasion! It takes place at 2pm on Sunday, February 13th. While you’re enjoying the big game, be sure to try a VBSPCA Second Chance Sour Ale, a limited small batch production of Zoinks by Smartmouth Brewing Company. A portion of beer sales will be donated to the VBSPCA.

Watch at Home
This year’s Puppy Bowl will be shown on February 13th at 2pm on Animal Planet and can be streamed on Discovery+. Even if you decide to watch at home, you can still make a toast to Sammie and Heidi with our special edition beer! Stop by Smartmouth Brewing to pick up a four-pack of VBSPCA Second Chance Sour Ale beginning Friday, February 11th.

This year marks the fifth time that VBSPCA animals have made appearances in the Puppy Bowl. Jill, a kitten, was featured in the 2021 event. Now it’s Sammie and Heidi’s moment to shine! We’re so proud of our VBSPCA pups. Go Team Fluff!

Click here to learn more about this year’s Puppy Bowl.

 

Grooming 101 | Tips for Caring for Your Pets

All dogs and cats need regular grooming to stay happy and healthy. Proper grooming includes keeping your pet’s eyes, ears, skin, nails, teeth, and fur clean. While all pets benefit from regular grooming, pets with long hair need a little extra attention to prevent their fur from getting tangled or matted.

Brushing your pet’s hair regularly does more than keep their hair tangle-free. It also removes dirt, spreads natural oils through their coat, and helps keep their skin clean. Brushing your pet’s hair is also the perfect time to make sure there are no fleas or ticks on your pet. Even dogs and cats who shed should be brushed 1-2 times per week.

Short-Haired Dogs
Dogs who have short hair and shed should be brushed once a week. Regular brushing can even help prevent the frustration of finding loose hair all over your home. Some dogs shed year-round while others shed seasonally in the spring and fall. If your canine companion is in a heavy shedding period, you should brush them more frequently than once a week.

In addition to brushing, your dog should be bathed at least once every three months. Consider bathing more frequently if your dog spends a lot of time outside or has skin issues.

Long-Haired Dogs
Dogs with long hair will need to be brushed daily to remove tangles and prevent matting. If you come across a tangle, gently brush it out. For tougher tangles and matts, carefully clip the hair instead, but be sure not to cut the skin.

Dogs with long, silky coats will also need to visit a professional groomer to have their hair trimmed approximately every 4-6 weeks. These breeds include Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus, Poodles, and Maltese. In addition to a haircut, your pet’s groomer will also bathe them and trim their nails. It should be noted that dogs who have long hair and a double coat should never be shaved down, including breeds like Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Pomeranians.

Short-Haired Cats
If your cat has short hair, you should comb their hair 1-2 times per week. Removing dead or loose hair through brushing will help prevent your cat from hairball issues. Cats are mainly self-bathers: they use their tongue and teeth to bathe themselves. However, if your feline friend is overly dirty or gets into something sticky or smelly, you may need to give them a bath.

Long-Haired Cats
Cats with long hair will need to be brushed every few days to keep their long locks tangle-free. If you come across a knot, you can put a little talcum powder on the knot and use your fingers to tease it out. Just like short-haired cats, our long-haired friends are great about bathing themselves. However, if your cat is matted you may need to visit a professional groomer.

Professional Grooming Services
As mentioned above, keeping your pet properly groomed includes not only brushing their fur, but also trimming their nails, bathing them, and keeping their eyes, ears, and teeth clean. You may choose to purchase all of the necessary equipment and learn how to do these things on your own, but you should also enlist the help of a professional groomer when needed.

When to Groom at Home:
– You have the proper tools and supplies
– You feel comfortable using cutting shears, nail clippers, etc.
– Your pet is calm and cooperative

When to Contact a Professional:
– You don’t feel confident grooming your pet
– You do not or cannot invest in quality grooming equipment
– Your pet is uncooperative

Grooming your pet can be a difficult process at first, but with time and patience, it can become a great bonding experience.

Need help finding a professional groomer? Check out our list of recommended groomers here.

Compassion in the Community | January 2022

A new year provides new hope for the homeless animals of the Virginia Beach SPCA. Here are some ways our community is giving back this January.

VBSPCA #BettyWhiteChallenge – Now through January 17th
Betty White was a beloved actress, a cultural icon, and a lifelong animal lover and advocate. In celebration of her legacy, the VBSPCA is joining the viral #BettyWhiteChallenge to raise money for our shelter pets. We’re encouraging our adopters, volunteers, and supporters to donate $5 in honor of Betty White’s 100th birthday on January 17th. To participate, make a donation through our Facebook fundraiser or on our website.

New Realm Brewing Company’s #BettyWhiteChallenge – January 10th-16th
Our friends at New Realm Brewing Company are also participating in the #BettyWhiteChallenge! Visit New Realm Brewing from January 10th-16th, mention the promo code “BETTY WHITE CHALLENGE” when you get your bill, and the brewery will donate a portion of your tab in Betty’s name to the animals of the VBSPCA.

VBSPCA Membership Drive – Now through April 30th
Join the VBSPCA mission and become a member! Our goal is to welcome 100 new VBSPCA members by April 30th. For as little as $10 a month, you’ll provide critical support to our shelter. Membership gives homeless animals hope for tomorrow and comes with a variety of perks like a member T-shirt, magent, discounts on adoptions and merchandise, and pet parent resources. Click here to become a member today.

Art on the Town at AJ Gators – Saturday, January 22nd
Shop local artists, watch football, and enjoy food and beverages at Art on the Town’s Football Playoffs Show. The event will be held from 12-4pm on Saturday, January 22nd at AJ Gators Sportsbar at 401 N. Witchduck Road in Virginia Beach. Art on the Town will hold a raffle to benefit the animals of the VBSPCA. Learn more on Art on the Town’s Facebook page.

Save the Date – Our Wags and Whiskers Gala is Back! – April 2nd
Mark your calendars and get ready to join the VBSPCA for our biggest fundraising event of the year! Our Wags and Whiskers Gala is back, and this year it takes the shape of a Twilight Extravaganza with food, drinks, games, entertainment, and some spectacular surprises. It all takes place on Saturday, April 2nd from 7-11pm at New Realm Brewing Company. Tickets will be available soon. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, email us at emily.peck@vbspca.com.

All Year Long – Sustainable Support

Andy’s Paw Prints
Order a custom pet portrait from Andy’s Paw Prints, and 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the VBSPCA! This is a great way to support our animals while celebrating the special pets in your life. Andy’s Paw Prints supports various animal shelters, so click here for our referral link to order your custom pet portrait.

Kroger Plus
You can help homeless animals anytime you buy groceries at Kroger! Simply sign up, swipe your Plus Card when you shop, and a portion of the sale will be donated back to the VBSPCA! Sign up to participate here.

Host a Fundraiser through Bonfire
Create a t-shirt to benefit the animals of the VBSPCA! Bonfire makes it easy – upload your design, select the VBSPCA as the nonprofit, and they take it from there. This is a great way to support the animals while also putting some style out there in the community. Learn more here.

Nextdoor
Paypal Giving Fund has partnered with Nextdoor in order to bring charities a new way to gain support from their communities. With Nextdoor’s Sell for Good, neighbors can support charities by simply buying and selling items on the For Sale & Free marketplace. Sellers will now have the option to donate proceeds to benefit nonprofits like the VBSPCA through the PayPal Giving Fund. Click here to get started today!

Become a Member
As a VBSPCA Member, every adoption we complete, every wildlife animal we rescue, every child we reach, and every pet we treat in our clinic connects back to you. YOU make our mission possible, and all it takes is $10 a month. Plus, VBSPCA members receive exclusive perks and discounts in gratitude for their dedication to sustaining our mission! Interested? Click here to become a VBSPCA Member.

#VBStrong
In solidarity with our two legged and four-legged community, VBStrong T-shirts and tanks are available at the VBSPCA shelter, located at 3040 Holland Road. 100% of the proceeds from these VBStrong shirts will go to families of those who were lost on May 31st, 2019.

The Virginia Beach SPCA is incredibly grateful for the continued support from our local community. If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser or event supporting the VBSPCA, please contact our Outreach Department at outreach@vbspca.com.

Adam Varner | In Service to the VBSPCA for 1 Year

It only took one visit to the Virginia Beach SPCA Shelter before Adam Varner was hooked. He saw an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of homeless animals. “Money alone can’t solve the animal issues that our community faces, but the ability to be part of a team to help guide decisions makes all the difference in the world,” says Varner.

As one of the newer faces of the VBSPCA Board of Directors, Varner brings an energy and his business savvy to the organization. The Hampton Roads native spent five years in the Marine Corps and now has his own construction company, 757 Pros. Varner lives in Virginia Beach with his girlfriend, their 11 year old son, and two rescue dogs, Loki and Liberty.

Varner has rescued several dogs over the years, which has ignited a passion to eliminate animal abuse and neglect. “Animal suffering hits me on a very personal level,” he says. “Watching the transformation of the abused to happy, healthy, and well adjusted gives me incredible joy!”

Varner encourages members of the community to visit the VBSPCA shelter to get a better understanding of what the organization does. “Getting to see the impact that is made on a daily basis with our staff, volunteers, and board members is truly inspirational,” says Varner. Additionally, he encourages animal lovers to spread the word about the many services the VBSPCA provides. “Word of mouth and spreading the good work done by the VBSPCA on social media is key in allowing our impact to grow.”

Board members like Varner are crucial to furthering the VBSPCA mission of ending animal suffering and homelessness. We are thankful for everything he does to help our animals!

If you are interested in serving on the Virginia Beach SPCA Board of Directors, please email Emily.Peck@vbspca.com for more information.

Happy Tails | Kenzo

Every single animal that comes through our shelter has a story. Some are complex, many are sad, but all of them get better the minute they arrive at the Virginia Beach SPCA. Kenzo was part of an unplanned litter of five puppies who was surrendered to the VBSPCA in February 2021. The long coat Chihuahua mixes went into a foster home until they were ready for adoption. When Amaya came in to meet the pups in March, Kenzo stood out from the rest of his siblings since he was the only boy and had golden hair. We recently caught up with Amaya to get an update on Kenzo.

How is Kenzo doing in the home?

Kenzo took no time at all to adjust when I initially adopted him. Now we’re practically in sync, and I can easily navigate his emotions and needs/wants. He’s happy, healthy, and has no problem letting me know when he isn’t.

What sort of activities do you and Kenzo do together?

Kenzo and I love to cuddle! Any time I’m taking a nap, he’s right by my side. We also frequent trips to grandma’s house so he can get all of those no-no snacks he can’t get at home and he pays her in kisses (Grandmas! Am I right?). Other than being PetSmart junkies, we spend most of our time playing tug-of-war or fetch, or simply lounging around.

Does Kenzo have any funny quirks?

Kenzo likes to do this weird thing where anytime we’re playing fetch and I have the toy in my hand ready to throw it, he’ll jump up to grab it with no regard for landing. He doesn’t seem to account for what will happen once it’s time to come out of the air and simply throws his body. He completely disregards the need for a landing pose, clear ground, and just looks like a fish out of water. I’m assuming it’s pure dedication, and he’s just willing to compromise his body to achieve the goal of getting the toy from my hand. I aspire to be as dedicated to my goals! (Minus the sacrificing of my limbs…)

How has Kenzo enriched your lives so far?

I find myself constantly expressing my appreciation for being Kenzo’s mom. He is supportive, kind, and understands me so well. Before adopting him, I never truly understood the depths of relationships with pets. I now know it is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone could have. We have such a long road ahead of us, but this small amount of time we’ve already spent together is enough to fill my heart for a lifetime.

Why do you think people should consider adopting a shelter pet?

I’m a first-time adopter, and like many others I had concerns with adopting. The first would be not being able to find a breed that would suit my lifestyle. The second was finding a dog that would have trouble adjusting since I’m not equipped with enough knowledge. Both of my concerns were easily dismissed when I found Kenzo. I’d tell anyone who is interested in adopting that it’s a journey that requires patience, but the perfect pet is out there! You just have to find each other.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Adopting was extremely cost efficient and educational. When I adopted Kenzo, I was given all of his necessary medications, some food, and plenty of helpful resources to answer any questions I had. The VBSPCA also had an affordable clinic, which was a huge win! I was able to afford adoption, shots, meds, and new pet supplies, which still totaled to half of what it’d cost me to purchase a dog elsewhere. I was taught signs to look for when integrating him with other dogs and new people. The VBSPCA also gave me helpful advice on feeding, potty training, and crate training! I look forward to adopting again in the future.

2022 New Year’s Message from Our CEO

It is hard to believe that 2022 is here. 2021 was one heck of a year…one on the tails of the tumultuous year that was 2020. As I sit here with my mask still in place, there has been a pervasive feeling of deja vu – the deja vu of continued pandemic challenges, but also the deja vu of perseverance and optimism. We have continued to serve our mission at the highest level – even with the current day challenges. In 2021, we were even stronger than we were in 2020, and the diligence of our collective and collaborative efforts shows in our service to the 2,304 adopted animals in our shelter and over 12,000 appointments in our clinic. My team’s hard work is evident in our ability to continue to deliver humane education to over 2,500 children despite the cancellation of our in-person programs. Our collaboration is evident in our involvement with 206 adult volunteers, our team of 192 foster families, and our ability to provide second chances to the 1,113 transfer animals who found hope at the VBSPCA. Animal welfare is an exhausting field with never-ending need for care, but those of us that choose this work wouldn’t change our path for anything. Because we matter.

We matter because the animals matter. The community needs our resources to help complete their families with deserving pets. The community needs our help to manage the relationships with their pets and to provide necessary medical care for their pets. The link that we have with pet owners begins with adoption or the first clinic appointment, yet our support extends far beyond that and through the lifetime of the animal as needed. We are here every day working together – because you matter.

You matter as you are the connection in the community for the animals in our care. Adopter, clinic client, donor, shelter or rescue partner, volunteer… you all come together to build the network of solutions that serve to deliver our mission of ending animal homelessness. You matter because the challenges of today’s world can seem endless and holding the lives of our animals dear becomes even more important. With the support of our community, we have been able to continue in our mission of compassion and creating the precious animal-human bonds that lift our spirits, bringing us true joy and unconditional love.

As we embark on the year ahead, we walk in step with our mission and vision. And we take you with us as a member of our extended family of care. Looking into the endless depths of a hound’s eyes or listening to the subtle purr of a cuddling kitten tells us all what we already know. We matter. They matter. You matter. The hard work we do together will always matter.

Thanks for being here for me, my staff, and most of all, the animals. I look forward to a brighter year ahead, a year that will be fueled by perseverance, patience, and – as always – compassion.

Cheers to being in continued service to the animals of our community.

Fondly,
Derby

Happy Tails | Cali

Every single animal that comes through our shelter has a story. Some are complex, many are sad, but all of them get better the minute they arrive at the Virginia Beach SPCA. Cali arrived at the VBSPCA in August of 2019 as a young puppy. She wasn’t in our care for very long. Delynda had been wanting to adopt a puppy, and the moment she laid eyes on Cali, she knew the little Golden Retriever mix was “the one”. We recently caught up with Delynda to get an update on Cali.

How’s Cali doing in the home?

Cali instantly took to our home and her big brother Lewie (a Llewelyn Setter). Even though she is smaller than Lewie she rules the roost. She is perfectly happy when we crate her, but we are now, as she is a little more than two years old, able to leave her out during the day with Lewie when we are gone for short periods. Cali is extremely smart and does well with training. She is extremely food motivated.

We have met some challenges that have given us the opportunity to love on Cali and pour more affection into her. She tends to be very fearful and somewhat anxious when meeting new people. It feels great to continue building her confidence as we watch her become more trusting of us and the new situations we experience.

What sort of activities do you and Cali do together?

Cali loves to go for walks and can’t get enough of the car. Almost every evening my husband and I take the dogs out on our dock to watch the sunset on North Landing River at Munden Point. We have a gate on the end of the dock so we can unleash the dogs and let them explore safely. They enjoy watching the birds, the jumping fish, and the boats going by.

Does Cali have any funny quirks?

There’s one I call the “Cali Flip.” If she trusts a person and they pet her, she instantly melts and flips on her back without even trying. She absolutely adores belly rubs! She also knows when it is getting close to feeding time; she silently and suddenly appears, all the while attempting to look adorable, which she has no problem doing as she always makes her adorable Cali face.

How has Cali enriched your life so far?

Cali is such a bright light in our lives. It makes me so proud that she trusted me enough to bring her into our home. She keeps us giggling every day. She is pure joy!

Why do you think people should consider adopting a pet from a shelter?

People should realize that pets do not end up in a shelter on their own will. It is important to acknowledge that a pet’s past life and home situation may certainly have a bearing on their demeanor. Animals deserve a second chance at a solid family life. Animals who are given care and affection will often flourish in the right loving environment.

Amy Mallet | In Service to the VBSPCA for 2 Years

As a proud pet parent of two rescue dogs, Amy Mallet is a passionate advocate for animal adoption. She joined the Virginia Beach SPCA Board of Directors two years ago because of her experience with her own pets. “By serving on the VBSPCA Board of Directors, I have been able to share that joy of pet adoption with others and garner more support for animals looking for forever homes,” said Mallet.

With more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Mallet lends her expertise to the VBSPCA and other organizations. She is currently the manager of the Virginia Natural Gas Corporate Communications team and serves as the chair of the Virginia Natural Gas EverGreen team, a group dedicated to supporting the company’s environment and sustainability efforts. Mallet also volunteers her time to the Bay Beagle Rescue, Salvation Army, and United Way. She lives in Virginia Beach with her two Beagles, Cooper and Wilson.

Mallet says she was drawn to volunteer with the VBSPCA because of its mission to provide compassion for animals in need. “I am a passionate champion for the welfare of our animals,” said Mallet. “The VBSPCA exemplifies its dedication to being true community partners by teaching individuals to be more humane and responsible in the treatment of animals.”

Educating the community about the variety of services offered at the VBSPCA is a priority for Mallet. She hopes to inspire others to support the animals in any way they can. “The VBSPCA provides opportunities for people of all ages to touch the lives of animals who need a warm home and lots of love,” said Mallet. “Individuals can volunteer to take a dog for a walk, read to animals, donate supplies, foster a pet, participate in a fundraising event, or give monetary donations, just to name a few.” 

Dedicated individuals like Mallet ensure the VBSPCA can continue working towards its mission of ending animal suffering and homelessness. We are grateful for everything she does to help our animals! 

If you are interested in serving on the Virginia Beach SPCA Board of Directors, please email Emily.Peck@vbspca.com for more information.

Local Dog to Appear on Special Edition Beer Label

The votes are in, and the winner of our first ever Virginia Beach SPCA Second Chance Sour Ale Photo Contest is Benji! The contest was held in November to determine who would appear on the label of a special edition beer by local brewery, Smartmouth Brewing Company.

A total of 46 animals were entered into the contest including 37 dogs, 8 cats, and 1 duck. After a month of voting, the public narrowed down the competition to the top five finalists: Walter, Benji, Xena, Ashlie, and Prince Earl. The top five photos were then sent to our 2021 judging panel to determine the winner, which was no easy task with such cute and tough competition! Ultimately, the judges chose Benji as our Second Chance Shelter Ambassador.

Benji will be featured on the special edition label of Second Chance Sour Ale, a limited small batch production of Zoinks by Smartmouth Brewing Company. The label is being designed by VBSPCA Board Member and local artist Bill Campbell. The special label will be revealed in January – so keep an eye out for this exciting collaboration! Until then, we look forward to raising a pint of Second Chance Sour Ale with our supporters at our Puppy Bowl Party next February.

We’d like to thank our 2021 judging panel for helping us select the winner for this year’s contest:

  • Chris Neikerk from Smartmouth Brewing
  • VBSPCA Gala Cochairs Angie Lombardi and Mary Meetchum
  • VBSPCA Board Chair Lelila Bradley
  • VBSPCA Annual Partner and Actor Terry O’Quinn 
  • NFL Linebacker Clay Matthews III