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Holy Dog Rescue, Batman! How Robin Became a Superhero to Dogs



Quick Smiles:

  • Burt Ward, famous for his role as Robin in the 1960s “Batman” television series, has dedicated his life to rescuing dogs with his nonprofit, Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions, which has found forever homes for over 15,500 dogs.
  • Alongside his wife, Tracy, Ward has also launched Gentle Giant Products, a line of natural pet food aimed at extending the life expectancy of dogs and cats, inspired by their emotional attachment to the dogs they rescue.
  • While known for his iconic role in pop culture, Ward expresses that his most meaningful contribution is his rescue work, hoping to be remembered as someone who left the planet better off, illustrating his transition from screen superhero to real-life hero for countless animals.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Burt Ward!

You may remember him best as Robin, the sidekick to Adam West’s Batman in the 1960s hit TV series.

But today, our beloved Boy Wonder has traded his superhero cape for a more humanitarian role, channeling his passion into saving man’s best friend.

Burt Ward, now 77, reflects on his early life, “I knew nothing about Batman or Robin,” he tells PEOPLE, but he had always been fond of dogs thanks to a series of friendly family pets.

His role in Batman, which ran from 1966 to 1968, catapulted him to fame, but it was his offscreen chemistry with co-star Adam West that really resonated.

“We got along so incredibly, and we never stopped laughing for more than 55 years,” Ward recalls fondly.

But enough about superheroes, let’s talk about super dogs!


In 1994, Burt and his wife, Tracy, opened their hearts and home to rescue dogs, founding the Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions.

This nonprofit has successfully found forever homes for over 15,500 dogs.

“We always have about 50 dogs at home ready for adoption,” Ward shares, describing his residence outside of Los Angeles as “an animal-friendly community.”

Their work hasn’t gone unnoticed, with celebrities like Vanessa Williams, America Ferrera, and Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, adopting from the Wards.

But saving lives wasn’t enough for the Wards; they wanted to improve them, too.


“We couldn’t stand to see our dogs dying so young,” Ward reveals, a sentiment that led to the launch of Gentle Giants Products in 2005.

This natural pet food line is designed to extend the lives of dogs and cats. Ward doesn’t draw a salary from this work, allowing him to keep prices affordable.

Looking back, Burt Ward’s remarkable journey from being one half of the dynamic duo to a canine crusader is inspirational.

Today, he strives to be remembered “as a person that left this planet better off than I found it.”

While the Bat-Signal no longer lights up Gotham’s skies, Burt Ward’s contribution to the animal kingdom surely lights up thousands of lives, every single day.

So, while Gotham’s villains may not tremble anymore, our four-legged friends have a hero they can always count on.


Holy achievement, Batman, indeed!