Cole Irvin threw five scoreless innings Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, the Orioles left-hander stood in the parking lot of the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter with a pickup truck full of paper towels and dog toys.

Irvin, who owns five rescue dogs and fosters more with his wife, Kristen Beat, is an ardent advocate for animal shelters. Once Irvin discovered a hoarding case brought 83 dogs and one cat to BARCS last week, Irvin and Beat quickly donated $3,000 for their care.

Then they began preparing for what’s next.

On Thursday, Irvin is helping to host a donation drive and adoption event at BARCS in which those who donate or adopt animals have the chance to receive autographs and photos with the Orioles pitcher.

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Irvin will be in the lobby at BARCS from 3:30-6 p.m. During that time, there will be a raffle set up by Irvin and Beat for any foster who took in a dog between Wednesday, May 22, and Sunday. The winner will receive a VIP Camden Yards experience that includes two game tickets, field passes for batting practice, a signed baseball and Orioles gear.

It’s Irvin’s way to draw attention to BARCS and the need for fosters, adopters and donations to support the animals that come in. (Full disclosure: I also volunteer and foster with the shelter.)

“Trying to find a way to bring O’s fans to the shelter who have been wanting a dog, who have always wanted one but may not have found the right one. With the amount of dogs that have come into their possession over the last week, the shelter needs help in clearing some space, and I feel like this is an opportunity to do that,” he said. “This is an opportunity to do my part in the community, because this affects more than just the dog’s life. It’s a change for your life as well, and it’s extremely rewarding.”

Orioles pitcher Cole Irvin drops off a donation of supplies to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. The center recently took in 83 dogs and one cat seized from a Northwest Baltimore home. (Andy Kostka)

Irvin also hopes to take a dog home for an overnight sleepover — a way to destress a shelter animal and shower them with love before they find their forever home.

Right-hander Kyle Bradish, Irvin’s teammate, also bought supplies to donate Tuesday. And right-hander Dean Kremer, who has visited BARCS previously, discussed ways to help the shelter over the long term with Irvin, as well.

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“All these guys that are coming down from the Orioles and helping us, last summer and this summer, it really gives that confidence in our shelter,” said Bailey Deacon, the director of philanthropy and communications at BARCS. “Not just the: ‘People don’t know us; now they know about us because of these guys.’ They’re saying, ‘We support BARCS, we support what they’re doing here, and you should too.’ That vote of confidence is worth a lot, not only for adopters but also donors.”

The low-end cost for the care of each healthy animal that comes to BARCS is $350, Deacon said. BARCS has already spent $30,000 supporting the 83 dogs and one cat that arrived from the hoarding case at a rowhome in Northwest Baltimore — and that was only for initial exams and vaccines. The cost will only rise.

Before those animals arrived, BARCS was already at capacity. Including dogs in foster homes, there are 240 dogs at BARCS currently, and the shelter has received 71% more dogs already this year than it did two years ago before the hoarding case, Deacon said.

That increase in animals only magnifies the urgent need for new fosters or adopters.

When the BARCS BFF Wagon — a vehicle that brings dogs to off-site adoption events — sets up at Camden Yards for Orioles games, Deacon said she often hears fans say they hadn’t heard of BARCS before.

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“That’s my favorite thing to hear, because people who have heard of us, they know our need is great,” Deacon said. “They get the emails. We’re constantly telling them we need money, adopters, fosters, and it’s not that it’s falling on deaf ears, we’re soliciting from the same people over and over, a lot of them already have pets from us. They’re already volunteering. They’re already fostering. Opportunities to find people who have never heard of us before is a really big deal, and getting these guys involved — so it’s on the news and in the paper — allows us to do that.”

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The support of Irvin, Bradish and Kremer, as well as other Orioles players, goes a long way.

Irvin hopes that by drawing Orioles fans to BARCS on Thursday, more dogs can find homes. And he emphasized that there are all breeds of dogs available in shelters. Buying from a breeder isn’t a necessity, particularly if the background and breeding techniques aren’t known.

“There’s so many dogs,” Irvin said. “Any type of breed you want to find are in shelters. Cats, lizards, every animal is in a shelter. You can find whatever you want, and it could be potty trained. It could be that much easier for you and your family to take home a dog. But it’s going to love you tenfold the more time and love you put into that, and I see it with my personal animals, my five dogs at home, my horses.”