Calvin Acuff, a real estate agent based in Morganton, North Carolina, is a self-professed animal lover who currently takes care of six pets — dogs Charlie, Molly, Willa, and cats Bow Tie, Orville and Leo — all of which he rescued while out and about hiking and walking in gorgeous mountain scenery that surrounds his town.

Acuff, who only began his real estate career in 2016, infuses his love for rescue pets in his everyday business by giving buyers advice on how to care for furry friends they’d like to bring into their new home. But, Acuff wanted to do something more to help the community he’s loved since his childhood in the country.

“I’ve never had the traditional experience of going out and buying a puppy,” said Acuff. “I’ve always just loved rescue animals. They make excellent pets and the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve rescued.”

“When the new year came, I began thinking of a way to give back to my community and that just kind of fit with what I enjoy and what is close to my heart,” he added.

Acuff and his six, furry family members.

On Jan. 2, Acuff posted a photo of him and his six pets along with a caption announcing that he’d donate $100 of each home sale to local shelters in his area.

“There are too many innocent animals looking for a loving home for me to adopt them all,” he wrote. “However for this new year, I am going to dedicate myself to helping as many as I can!”

On Dec. 27, Acuff was able to achieve his goal by donating $2,200 split amongst the Burke County Friends for Animals, Cat’s Cradle, and Brother Wolf, no-kill shelters that regularly partner with Petsmart for adoption days (each shelter received about $733).

Calvin Acuff giving Toni Davis, director of Burke County Friends for Animals, one of the shelters he donated to.

He says the shelters will use the money to buy food and cover medical care for sickly pets, costs that he says quickly mount in no-kill shelters.

Acuff says he wants to more than double his efforts in 2018, aiming to donate at least $5,000 — meaning that he’ll have to sell at least 50 homes. Acuff says he hopes more agents think of ways to give back in the coming year, and that it’s as simple as thinking about what you’re already passionate about.

“There are agents that I know that just choose a different charity each year, which is fine, but I think if you’re passionate about something, it makes a big difference,” he said.  “When people ask me why I do something, I can give them valid, genuine reasons as to why I donate.”

“It’s not a business decision,” he finished. “I wish I could adopt all the animals, but I don’t have the resources to do that so this is the next best thing I can do — help them be rescued and find a forever home.”

Email Marian McPherson.

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