Kate Upton appears at Lakeland pet adoption event

- Supermodel Kate Upton, who was an international sensation on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, helped homeless pups in Lakeland on Thursday.

She and her boyfriend, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, sponsored a Grand Slam Adoption event at Tigertown.  The couple has three rescue dogs and are encouraging others to "adopt, don't shop."

"They bring so much happiness to us, we can't imagine our life without them," Upton told FOX 13 News of her three furry friends.

Verlander was scheduled to be at the event, but at the last minute, he had to warm up for a spring training game right next door.

The event benefits Verlander's pet charity, Wins for Warriors, which provides mental health services to veterans, the SPCA of Florida, and K9s for Warriors, which gives trained rescue dogs to vets.

"The veterans served our country. They paid the price," said the executive director of K9s for Warriors, Rory Diamond. "We do everything for free."

Upton and Verlander have done a number of similar events and said they have been animal lovers since they were kids.

Upton says she wants to adopt more dogs, but Verlander is holding the line.

"I think Justin is going to win this one," she admitted. "He has a very fair point. We both travel a lot and we want to make sure they have a loving home, and our homes now are on the road."

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