CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- So what's tougher to coach?

An offensive line or a rescue dog?

You might be surprised to hear what Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told us.

Hours after winning the last pre-season game, he was back on the Panthers' practice field

As you might expect, he was coaching. Well, sort of. He and wife Stephanie brought their dogs for a little exercise. Penny, the little one, is a rescue and a mutt. And Fiyero is a golden retriever.

"So the coach has trouble coaching the dogs? Yes, especially the little one. She's got a mind of her own."

"So you readily admit that?" -- MB

"Oh yes, she's tough, she think she rules the roost."

"So who's tougher – her or some of your guys?" -- MB

"Oh definitely her. She's stubborn, hardheaded."

Stephanie told us, "There are so many unwanted pets that we said, if we're going to get one from a breeder, were definitely going to get a rescue."

The couple loves animals so much, they chose the Charlotte Humane Society as one of their dedicated causes.

They helped organize a fundraiser - a cookbook with recipes from popular Charlotte restaurants, and recruited the players to pose for it.

"It's great to see the players get involved, the photos are awesome. I love seeing the big guys with the little kitties," said shelter director Shelley Moore.

Coach Rivera says giving back to the community is important for him and his players. "One of the things that Mr. Richardson stressed to us, we wanted to bring quality young men in and try to make sure they do the right thing and by getting them involved in the community. I think it's important because we got to give back to the community."

The Riveras, many of the Panthers players and the Humane Society will launch the sale of the cookbook at a special fundraising party next week.

If you'd like to attend the Rescue Recipes Tailgating Cookbook Launch Party or purchase a cookbook, check out the Humane Society of Charlotte website.

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