Many actors have played Batman and his sidekick Robin over the years, but for a generation of fans they will always be Adam West and Burt Ward, who played the dynamic duo in the classic 1960s TV series.
West passed away in 2017, but Ward, 77, is still going strong — and just like his on-screen superhero persona, he spends his days helping those in need of rescue.
Ward and his wife Tracy Posner have been running the nonprofit Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions since 1994. According to their site, they rescue over 45 different dog breeds — specializing in larger dogs like Great Danes and Mastiffs — and help find them homes in the Southern California area.
According to People, Ward and his wife have at least 50 dogs at their five-acre home at any time, and have found homes for over 15,500 dogs over the years.
He explained that the whole operation is a labor of love and that despite the large expenses of caring for the dogs, they do not take a salary for running the rescue. Instead they live off of separate business ventures, including Ward’s post-Batman comic convention appearances and Posner’s family business.
“We pay for everything and take no salary,” Burt said. “This is our charity.”
According to People, the rescue has attracted celebrity adopters including Vanessa Williams, America Ferrera and the late Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon.
In addition to rescuing dogs, Ward also has his very own line of dog food — one that he says helps extend pets’ life expectancy.
“We couldn’t stand to see our dogs dying so young,” Ward told People. “When we would lose one, my wife Tracy and I would sob.”
In 2018, he told WABC that his own dogs were 24 and 27 years old, well beyond the life expectancy of any dog breed, which he credits to their diet. “In the course of saving them, we found a way to extend dogs’ lives,” Ward told the outlet.
Their pet food products can be bought online or at select supermarkets. According to their site, the products are all natural and GMO-free, and available for both dogs and cats. The food products are also a nonprofit operation: Ward said they don’t make money off of the sales and that all proceeds to back into their rescue.
When he’s not rescuing dogs, Ward still finds time to occasionally return to the role that made him famous.
In recent years he voiced Robin in two animated films, reuniting with Adam West’s Batman and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman. He also made a live-action cameo in a 2019 episode of Supergirl.
We’re so glad to see that Burt Ward is still doing great at 77, and dedicates his life to helping animals!