*My Cause, My Cleats is an NFL initiative that allows players to design cleats in honor of charities they care about. This year, a number of Patriots will be wearing custom-made cleats that represent causes close to their hearts for the game in Buffalo this weekend. Before they do, Lifestyle is bringing you some of the stories behind the cleats. *
When Brian Hoyer looked around at the inaugural My Cause, My Cleats initiative, he noticed that something he was passionate about -- animal rights -- was under-represented. So when he rejoined the Patriots this season and found out he had enough time to design a pair of his own cleats, Brian knew he wanted to support a cause that helped fight cruelty against animals.
When the Patriots take on the Bills this Sunday, Brian will be representing the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). With two dogs of his own, Brody and Daisy, Brian said he wanted to be a voice for those who cannot defend themselves.
"I have always been passionate about being against animal cruelty," Brian said. "Animals don't really have a choice. They're these helpless things that most people take really good care of, but a lot of people don't. To be able to speak out ofr them when they don't really have a voice was the main thought. When I see my two dogs, I can't imagine that someone would ever want to hurt a dog or any animal for that matter."
Brian and his family have raised their boxer and pug-beagle mix, and he said many people don't realize how much responsibility being a pet owner takes. As a result, animals are abused, mistreated and abandoned.
Though it is a surprise what Brian's cleats look like, he hopes that when people see them, they take time to learn about the MSPCA and the work they do to fight animal abuse.
"They're helpless beings. Whether it's a dog, cat, horse, anything -- if you want to have pet, make sure you think really far into it so you don't buy this dog or cat and a year later you're throwing it to the side. I think that's a big problem that we have in this country. You buy a puppy and then it grows out of being a puppy, and people get rid of it," Brian said. "Just thinking to the responsibility, and more so than anything, instead of going to a pet store or anything like that, go to a shelter and try to adopt a dog because there are so many that are just looking for a chance to go to a good home."
You can learn more about the MSPCA here. Check in with Patriots.com all week to get more stories behind Patriots players My Cause, My Cleats.