The big guy with the big heart has made a huge impact on the lives of more than 250 dogs hoping for a second chance.
After Sunday’s 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Derrick Nnadi, a defensive tackle with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, expanded upon his tradition of helping animals get adopted.
“We are so excited to announce that KC defensive tackle, Derrick Nnadi, and Ziwi Pets are choosing to celebrate the win by paying for the adoptions of all the adoptable dogs currently at KC Pet Project!” the KC Pet Project posted on Facebook.
Good morning ☕️ pic.twitter.com/FMpwKfSw1L
— Derrick Nnadi 🇳🇬 (@DerrickNnadi) February 13, 2023
“We have had an amazing, season-long, partnership with Derrick Nnadi and ZIWI with so many dogs finding their homes, and now all 264 dogs that are available for adoption are sponsored by them until they are adopted. ZIWI is also providing swag bags with all dog adoptions,” the post stated.
Nnadi is no stranger to helping cast-off animals. After the Chiefs won the 2020 Super Bowl, he paid the adoption fees for 100 dogs at the KC Pet Project, according to PennLive., the website of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Patriot-News.
Since 2019, Nnadi has sponsored one dog for adoption after every Chiefs game.
“All of Kansas City is so excited with this win, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Derrick Nnadi and ZIWI for this wonderful initiative to help local pets find new families,” Tori Fugate, chief communications officer at the KC Pet Project said after this year’s gesture of support for animals, according to KMBC-TV in Kansas City.
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“All my life I always wanted a dog,” Nnadi said after the 2020 Super Bowl, according to CNN. “Growing up I didn’t have a pet; my parents didn’t really allow pets.”
He also wanted to give back to the community.
Defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi will pay for the adoption of all dogs at KC Pet Project. https://t.co/naP2VSoIYa
— The Patriot-News (@PatriotNews) February 14, 2023
“With me being in Kansas City, going back to what I’ve learned is always take care of home first. Being that I’m living in Kansas City right now, I treat it as my home, so I always try to do anything I can involving the community,” he said, according to a November 2021 story on Arrowhead Pride, a website that covers the Chiefs franchise.
“With KC Pet Project, again, it just goes back to why I want to do it,” Nnadi said. “It went back to my first dog, Rocky. When I first got him, he was real timid, had a lot of issues with the breeder, and I always just felt bad for him, so helping out at KC Pet Project, giving the animals a second chance to find a true home. It’s always just had a special place in my heart.”
Nnadi said the dog had no experience with people when he was adopted.
“When I first got him from the breeder … for a while, he was a very timid dog,” he said. “The breeder didn’t want his dogs around people because he was worried about people stealing them. So when he was younger, everything scared him — cars, noises, anything.”
“The reason why I called him Rocky? If you tried to pet him when he was a puppy, he would bob and weave just like him. With him, I kind of treated him like a project, because I always try to slowly get him more social with other people,” he said.
Rocky is now a different animal, he said.
“These days now? You would never suspect [any timidness]. Happy go-lucky dog. Dude’s weird. I come home, he’s jumping to my face. I open the door? Boom. Ba! I’m like, ‘Bro. Calm down. How you doing?’ [He] runs up and down the stairs, grabs a toy, he’s like, ‘I got it! I got it! All right, cool.’ Happy as can be,” he said.