Tom Wilson’s lorge hands are perfect for scoring goals (and sometimes punching faces) in hockey, but recently we learned that they can also serve as a nice protective home for some of the smolest kittens on Earth, too.
The just-turned-28 Capitals star spent his off day on Wednesday assisting Wolf Trap Animal Rescue staff with the intake and processing of over 73 animals in need. Wilson was joined by his fiancee Taylor PischkeCapitals Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdykand Trevor’s wife Annie Van Riemsdyk.
Photo: Wolf Trap Animal Rescue
Part of Wilson’s volunteer work included handling one-day-old kittens.
The two kittens literally fit in the palm of Tom’s hands. If you look closely, Wilson’s knuckles remain swollen and knicked up after a fight with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith days earlier.
The group’s volunteer work that day included assisting with veterinary exams, taking intake photos, fitting the puppies and kittens for harnesses/collars, and making sure the new fosters had all the supplies they needed for their foster period. Some lucky fosters parents even had their new foster pup hand-delivered by Wilson out in the parking lot.
It’s important to note that Wilson, Taylor, and the van Riemsdyks did not volunteer on Wednesday as part of a PR campaign for the Capitals. The group chose to do this in their personal time because they are passionate and get great joy about helping animals.
According to WTAR, the 73 animals that were processed were rescued from life-threatening situations in Mississippi.
“Tom Wilson and Taylor Pischke have been impact volunteers and supporters with WTAR since they adopted Halle from us in March of 2020,” Dr. Amber Burton, the CEO, founder, and veterinarian, said to RMNB. “Through them, Annie, Trevor, and other members of the Caps family have now become involved. We are always extremely appreciative when they spend their few days off to help with rescue operations.”
Tom and Taylor have a long history of volunteering for WTAR. The couple fostered two puppies in the spring of 2021, who got along well with their adopted pup Halle. The couple first got a taste of fostering puppies in 2017, when they took on a tiny puppy named Tulip. Trevor and Annie van Riemsdyk also serve as fosters for WTAR.
Earlier this season, Taylor Pischke and Annie van Riemsdyk helped organize and direct this year’s Caps Canine Calendar fundraiser, where calendars featuring players holding adoptable WTAR puppies were available to purchase. The sales of the calendars raised over $25,000 for both WTAR & Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation.
“We were grateful to have been part of the 2022 Caps Canine Calendar, and over the past couple of years, Tom specifically donated a signed jersey for our Saved by Surgery Raffle to help raise proceeds for two rescue puppies who needed major procedures,” WTAR’s Shannon Pecora said. “He also teamed up with FOCO to create the bobblehead with Halle. A portion of those proceeds went to our rescue.”
Dr. Burton says that if RMNB readers want to help, they can do so by signing up to foster on their website or donating money to provide medical care for all the animals who just recently came up.