Today, the San Antonio Rampage announced that forward Jon Matsumoto will head up a new program called “Matsumoto’s Rescues” that will be supported by the team. The program’s aim is to help address the population of stray dogs around the AT&T Arena, where the Rampage play. The team will host a series of collection drives at all 7 Sunday home games this season.

One such home game will be the team’s 7th annual “Pucks and Paws” Night on March 9th. This is an event copied by many teams around the AHL now. Some teams just invite people to bring their dogs along while others invite local shelters to bring dogs for people to see. The Rampage have great success with the event and even see a number of dogs adopted from their version of the night. With this added program, the Rampage asks fans to bring pet food, towels, blankets, paper towels, pet shampoo, and plastic grocery bags to any of the 7 designated home games. The items will then be donated to the Animal Defense League, which is a no-kill shelter in San Antonio.

The program kicks off on Thursday from 2-3pm at the Animal Defense League. Matsumoto will be visiting two dogs that he recently rescued on his way home from a Rampage game, one of which needed serious surgery to survive. The Animal Defense League will also bring dogs up for adoption to each of the Sunday home games this season. Matsumoto will be donating $20 for every goal he scores during the season as well.

“My wife, Kristen, and I have always been animal lovers and we saw this as a great opportunity to help pets here in San Antonio,” Matsumoto said in the Rampage press release, “We have a rescue dog of our own and we want to do everything we can to help animals in need find permanent homes.”

This season, Matsumoto returned to the San Antonio Rampage after spending most of last season with the Worcester Sharks. He spent part of the 2011-2012 season with the Rampage and now that he is back, wants to help out the community and a cause that is important to him.

Photo Credit: San Antonio Rampage

A New England girl, born and raised, Jessica Higham has grown up loving few things more than hockey. Although she has never considered herself to be a good skater, she fell in love with hockey back when boys still had cooties and that love has only grown since. She genuinely wishes she had been alive to enjoy ‘Miracle on Ice’ and considers it to be one of the greatest moments in US history. Nothing compares to the feeling of September coming and signaling the start of a new season, complete with a whole new set of ups and downs. After having been an avid reader and occasional writer, Jessica wanted to try putting the two loves together and writing about hockey. Aside from hockey, Jessica also loves music, going to concerts, animals, and walking on the beach. Email: jessica@thepinkpuck.com @JessicaHigham

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