FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Messages like “I hope the crowd is cheering for you,” “Rest in peace,” and “Gone way too soon” were some of the messages that came pouring in to veterinarian Dr. Amber Burton’s cell phone on the morning of April 9th, after the tragic news of NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ death.
The news came as a shock to Burton, who knew Haskins for years.
“I kept getting alert after alert, and after I looked at the first donation that came through, it said, ‘In memory of Dwayne Haskins,” said Burton. “I thought it was another Dwayne.”
Those messages kept coming. Over 400 donations and more than $11,000 dollars were donated to non-profit Wolf Trap Animal Rescue in Fairfax. Burton, the founder of Wolf Trap Animal Rescue, says, it’s saving the lives of hundreds of rescue animals.
“Usually most people who are very intimately involved in the organization donate their time. They don’t donate a whole lot of tangible assets that we use,” said Burton.” The fact that these donations come in, in honor of Dwayne, is a drastic help.”
The organization has a long history with Haskins. The former quarterback selected Wolf Trap Animal Rescue for the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative, which “allows players to express their commitment to the causes most important to them.”
“In 2019, Dwayne and Matt Ioannidis had cleats with our logos on it, and then they wore them in the game,” recalls Burton with a smile.
Now, Haskins legacy continues, as the donations keep coming in. It allows Wolf Trap staff to perform life-saving surgeries for animals in need.
“You never know how much of an impact you as one person can make. Dwayne made a huge impact with us, and he still continues to do so,” said Burton.