The Wards: Gentle Giants rescue...or torture house???
I've heard some bad things about the Wards and the Gentle Giants "rescue" they run, but this just takes the cake.

Here is the article from that site if you don't want to go through the trouble of loggin in, etc...


Dog rescue shelter called unhealthy

NORCO: Actor Burt Ward's facility is substandard, council members are told.

12:24 AM PDT on Friday, June 3, 2005

By PAIGE AUSTIN / The Press-Enterprise

NORCO - About a dozen dog rescuers from Southern California appeared
before the Norco City Council on Wednesday, accusing a local shelter of keeping animals in substandard conditions.

At a council meeting, the group asked city leaders to revoke the
operating permit for Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions, a nonprofit
rescue shelter at the home of Burt and Tracy Ward. Burt Ward, who was
not at the meeting, denied the allegations Thursday. City officials said the Norco Planning Commission and City Council have not had a chance to review and discuss the concerns raised by other rescuers Wednesday. If the allegations are true, the Wards would be in violation of the conditions of their operating permit and their permit could be revoked, confirmed Rene Power, Norco's Animal Control superintendent.

A spokeswoman for the group of rescuers told the council that the Wards failed to adequately care for some animals and violated their nonprofit status by adopting out dogs without spaying or neutering them and charging more for animals with desirable traits.

"We have signed declarations under penalty of perjury by various persons attesting to the poor physical condition of animals at this property -- that they were thin with open sores and wounds. ... They were filthy, coverred in feces and dirt," Kelly Cromer, a dog breeder and rescuer, said at the meeting.

Cromer said the Wards adopted out animals in need of medical care as
well as animals that attacked other dogs and a human.

"They are making money off these dogs that they are supposed to be
rescuing," she said.

Cromer's speech prompted one audience member to speak up at the meeting about his experience with the rescue shelter.

Richard Hallam, a Norco Parks and Recreations commissioner and owner of a local plumbing company, said one of his employees refused to install a toilet this week because of unsanitary conditions, including dog fecal matter on the floor.

"He said there were 40 dogs in one room," Hallam said. "The carpet was covered with cardboard and the lady said, 'Don't step on that because the carpet is diseased.' "

That is ridiculous, said Burt Ward, best known as Robin the Boy Wonder in the 1960s TV show "Batman." "It is completely false."

Ward said Home Depot had hired the plumber to install the toilet, but he showed up several days late and refused to complete the work because furniture was blocking a hallway while the Ward's rearranged a room. The plumber could not be reached for comment. "He never saw a dog because there was no dog in the house at the time," Ward said.

As to the rescuers' allegations, Ward said he is being targeted with
false allegations because of his celebrity status.

"Every accusation was false. None of those people were ever on our
property, nor did they ever adopt a dog from us," he said. "There are a lot of people who are envious or jealous."

Ward insisted he and his wife maintain a state-of-the-art property and Gentle Giants has rescued and placed thousands of healthy dogs, he said.

According to a 2003, tax form filed by Tracy Ward, the shelter earned
$22,294 and spent $22,318. On their Web site -- they offer nearly round-the-clock telephone help for dog owners at $695 a year along with a year's supply of the $43.50 a bag dog food made by the Wards.

Film producer Mike Cargile, said he adopted his two dogs -- Broadway and Hollywood -- from Gentle Giants this year. After his previous dog died late last year, he adopted a 16-month-old Great Dane mix for about $600.

"She's the best dog I ever had," he said in a phone interview. "I'm
ready to get two more."

Reach Paige Austin at (951) 893-2106 or

This is the link to one of the threads about the Wards from the Danes Online Forum:

Just a little exert:

In response to Reply # 20
If you DO the right things for the dogs, like you do (I assume), then it takes money.. but what has been around, is that they have dogs that need immediate medical attention, not spayed or neutered, wit cancer, with behavioral problems, which would need training, etc...

THAT would indeed take a lot of money if done....the problem is, they are not doing it, and on top of that, they are charing $400 and up for their dogs to adopt them out. and you have to buy their food for as long as you have a dog you adopted from them, if you don't sign the paper saying you will, the adoption form is automatically declined.

(I know this from a different forum I go to, and people were talking about)

I BET you they are manking tons of money. Theyndeserve to get their doors closed, IMO!

In response to Reply # 19

Some of their adoption fees are $1200 and up too!

In response to Reply # 20

Victoria... I assume they charge even more for some dogs, like the (sasquatch) what the heck is that?

they also have woodles and doodles (which are irish wolfhounds poodle cross, and dane poodle cross) and in their picture, it says they are the ONLY one of its kind....

But when I called, I only asked about danes, and they told me, depending on kind of dane, rarity, etc, price would be $400 and up...

It's sad to know they go as high as over $1000. and just a little while ago, some people would drive miles and miles to take their dogs (that they were not able to keep anymore) to them.

At least this is being uncovered now. Better late than never...

Isn't it great that a rescue determines their charges depending on the rarity of the certain color or breed (mix) of a dog???

And, this fella ( is the main reason why this action is being taken against the Wards.  I can only hope this so called rescue is shut down...

I'm sorry, but this has really pissed me off  :###:
Lindsay- Bernie's Mom:
I have visited their website and seen their rescue on tv and something has always felt a little 'off' to me. I think these people may have originally started out trying to do the right thing, but when they saw how much money they could bring in by offering rare breeds it looks like things have gotten out of control. I remember when they used to ONLY have great danes available and they had about 40 or so. But now, if you visit their website, they list 20-30 breeds including mixes and they don't list the actual animals they have up for adoption. Based on their website it makes me feel like they must have 100+ dogs!! (Though I do not know how many they presently have)

I hope someone figures out what is going on at Gentle Giants.
I, too, hope someone figures this out. 

It's a shame - it seems they started with good intentions, but, maybe have let the money get in the way.  What kind of rescue advertises breeds like that?  Maybe it's just me, but, I definitely find it odd.  I've worked with several local rescues and never are breeds listed on a website like that.  Seems almost like they're more of a dog broker than a rescue  :###:

Very disturbing - let me know if you hear anything further about this.
Message Index