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When he’s not pumping 100 MPH gas on the mound, Aces pitcher Damien Magnifico spends his time fostering animals. The 28-year-old reliever enters his second season in the D-Backs’ organization, but has become a full-time stay at home dog dad while he waits for baseball to come back.
Fostering animals is not new for the right-hander, he’s been doing it for eight years now. And while adopting is always important, it takes on a new level under the current circumstances according to Magnifico.
“It is always better to adopt but it is more important at the moment, because rescues and shelters aren’t able to have events showing off the animals to the public,”
Magnifico said. “Most shelters are still open but by appointment only. Some are able to promote online but not all of them have the resources to promote the animals and not everyone has the access to that technology.”
While Magnifico encourages adoption, especially now, he stresses the importance of preparing for the commitment of housing animals.
“Each rescue or shelter is a little different, but you basically just let the dog (or cat or rabbit) live with you until it finds its forever home. Many organizations make it free to you to foster by providing medical care. We’ve had fosters that stay a few days with us; to ones that stay with us months and months, and one that was with us for over a year,” he said.
“Do your homework – ask what they do/don’t cover so you know before you agree to get the pet into your home. There are a lot of ways to get involved: you can be temporary foster, medical foster, you can transport, and you can even pick the sizes/temperaments/breeds/medical conditions you feel most comfortable with,” he added.
A pitcher that strikes fear in hitters’ eyes by touching triple-digits on the radar gun, Magnifico has spent time in the Major Leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels. In 2019, the reliever was 3-1 over 53.0 innings pitched out of the bullpen split between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Reno to go with a 3.74 ERA and 68 strikeouts.
All things considered; it may be odd to hear that the fierce competitor has such a soft spot for animals but he described the difference of his personality on and off the field the best way he could.
“The two are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Easiest way to explain it is to compare on-duty Sully and off-duty Sully from Monsters Inc.”
For information about how to adopt or become a foster parent, contact SPCA of Northern Nevada by calling 775-324-7773 or by visiting SPCANevada.org. Or get in touch with the Nevada Humane Society at (Reno: 775-856-2000), (Carson City: 775-887-2171) or by visiting Nevadahumansociety.org.