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Canine crusader Burt Ward says his food can triple your dog’s lifespan

January 30, 2019
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Burt and Tracy Ward are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Gentle Giants dog rescue and adoptions organization. Since 1994, the rescue group has rehabilitated and found homes for 16,000 dogs of all sizes and breeds. Ward says his "Gentle Giants" dog food can double and sometimes triple the expected lifespan of a dog. The couple currently share their home with 50 dogs, 35 of which "have already lived twice the normal lifespan" including a 22-year old Great Dane. Burt and Tracy Ward are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Gentle Giants dog rescue and adoptions organization. Since 1994, the rescue group has rehabilitated and found homes for 16,000 dogs of all sizes and breeds. Ward says his "Gentle Giants" dog food can double and sometimes triple the expected lifespan of a dog. The couple currently share their home with 50 dogs, 35 of which "have already lived twice the normal lifespan" including a 22-year old Great Dane. (Image courtesy of Gentle Giants)

As Robin, the caped crusading sidekick to Adam West’s Batman on the popular 1960s TV series of the same name, actor Burt Ward helped rescue Gotham from a variety of diabolical arch villains. In real life, Ward, with his wife Tracy, have rescued and re-homed nearly 16,000 dogs in southern California through their Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions organization, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019.

“We currently have 45 different breeds here,” Ward told me during a phone interview. “We’re known for being the largest giant breed rescue organization in the country, but we also care for medium, small and tiny breed dogs.”

Happy to spend his days surrounded by canines, Ward says that he and Tracy always have at least 50 dogs living with them in their home, including Tara and Sugar – ages 24 and 27 respectively.

That is not a misprint. According to Ward, his dogs are living double and sometimes triple their expected life spans – a startling claim that he attributes to the fact that his dogs consume his ‘Gentle Giants’ dog food.

Because of their size, the average life span for a Great Dane is eight to 10 years. Ward says that he and Tracy share their home with a 22-year-old Great Dane, one of the couple’s 35 dogs that he says have already lived twice their life expectancy.

“That’s not an anomaly,” Ward added. “It’s consistency.”

Just as Burt and Tracy Ward’s canine rescue organization was initially geared toward large and giant breed dogs as the group’s name suggests, Ward stresses that the rescue group and its namesake food brand are for every size and breed of canine – from the tiniest Chinese crested dogs (about one-third the size of a Chihuahua) to the grandest Great Dane.

Ward was invited to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in early January to share stories and videos related to Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions, and to discuss how and why his dogs routinely outlive what is considered a normal canine life span. DeGeneres stated that she feeds Ward’s Gentle Giants Canine Cuisine to her own dogs.

“Our food is dramatically different from every other type of dog food out there,” said Ward. “Take most any brand of kibble and run your fingers over it. You’ll detect a greasy feeling. That’s because the big manufacturers spray chicken fat on the outside of the food to get dogs to eat it. Our food is dry on the outside.”

The ingredients summary for Ward’s Gentle Giants dog food lists 12 vegetables and three fruits in the Chicken Feast formula and 16 vegetables and four fruits in the Salmon Feast formula, along with glucosamine, chondroitin and vitamins.

“We use no preservatives and no chemicals,” Ward added.

Because his food contains no preservatives, Ward says that it is constantly made fresh and delivered to stores within four days of its manufacture to retain freshness and nutrition.

Ward’s Gentle Giants dog food retails in stores, including Walmart, for less than half the price of some of the larger nationally known brands.

“Our motto is ‘half the price and twice the life,’” Ward said.

To confirm availability of Gentle Giants dog food in greater Bangor, I checked with the two Walmart stores which serve the direct area.

An associate at the Brewer store says the brand is no longer available there, however an associate at the Bangor location on 900 Stillwater Avenue confirmed that the brand is currently in stock.

Ward stressed that he and his wife take no salary from the sale of Gentle Giants dog food, saying that all proceeds are funneled into the rescue organization to rehabilitate and re-home dogs of every size and breed.

In conversation with Ellen DeGeneres, Ward was asked how many of the couple’s 50 dogs sleep with Ward and his wife in their bed each night.

“I would say maybe 25 or 30 at the most,” Ward answered.

“Are they stacked on top of each other?” DeGeneres asked incredulously.

“The hardest part is trying to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night,” Ward responded.

You’ll find much more about Ward’s “Gentle Giants” rescue organization and dog food at www.GentleGiantsRescue.com.

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