Gentle Giants Dog Food
First let me start by saying these are my own personal opinions. Since Burt and Tracy Ward like to take people to court for slander and other things, I am only putting this information as my own opinion or information sourced from other places.
So the Gentle Giants food does not seem that bad. The protein is low so that is good for puppies. I was not able to find the magnesium-calcium ratio information. I would still recommend the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Adult Lamb and Rice over any other food for Great Danes until they are 18 months old (always ask your Vet though, I am not a Vet or medical professional. These are only my opinions)
Since the FDA has come out with a warning against grain free food because of Cardiomyopathy, I would not recommend the Gentle Giants Salmon Grain Free. Though this food has not been listed as one of the ones causing issues, it is my opinion that just staying away from grain free diets is a good idea for now. The FDA is still investigating and until they have completed their investigation, I think that grain free foods just just be avoided for now.
Gentle Giants Rescue
I think I saw that Ellen had Burt Ward on her show? I really wish her discovery team had done some digging. I absolutely adore Ellen. My husband Josh even worked on her show a bit. She is an amazing person and I know if she had known all the horror stories coming from this rescue, she would have never had put these people on the show.
Let me say that the person who put together the Gentle Giants News website made a very good point. I am not sure if it still holds true but Burt and Tracy would get Great Danes out of the shelters and they have likely saved a lot of lives. That is absolutely amazing and I am sure there are a lot of really happy families out there who have gotten Danes from them. But there are absolute horror stories out there.
When you purchase the Gentle Giants food or “adopt” (for now $800+), you are supporting this business. The only part that makes me feel good about it all is that they still may be getting dogs out of the kill shelters. I hope that is still the case.
The Gentle Giants News site is now down, however, it has been archived. You can read for yourself all the testimonials. I can’t say if they are all true or not. I can say mine is true. Based on my own experience, I read a lot fo the same patterns so I tend to think that are truths to it all.
A lot of this information is old with the last testimony being added in 2013. There is a chance that things have changed since my own adoption.
For some of you Burt Ward may be a familiar name. He was Robin on Batman and Robin back in the day when it was on TV.
Now, he and his wife Tracy run a “rescue”. I would not even be writing this had I not had my very own experience.
Here is my story:
“My family and I moved in a new home. We did a lot of research and decided that the Great Dane was the perfect dog for us. Call me stupid or whatever but we had tried to get one from a breeder. I figured that way we would ensure no problems. However, it is close to impossible to get a Great Dane, as a pet, from a breeder. They want you to show so they can charge more for their stud fees because their babies do well in the ring. So we were terribly frustrated with the whole process! We just wanted a dog to love. We did end up finding a breeder that would sell half a dog to us. But she wanted to breed her and keep the puppies. She would pay all the Vet bills and all that but we would be responsible for watching her overall well-being and then deal with the aftermath of having a litter. We admittedly are in no position to do such, as we didn’t feel knowledgeable enough to go that direction. We just wanted a big slobbery Great Dane to keep me company during the day and go places with me, to sleep with us, watch movies with us, and travel with us.We knew we wanted a female blue. After doing a lot of research online, it seemed that the most prevalent Great Dane site concerning rescue was Gentle Giants rescue. So I made that fateful call. I listened to the message and there was a strict “no just looking rule”. When I spoke with Tracy she said cash only and plan on going home with a dog. All her dogs are trained, shots are done, spayed and can live with other animals perfectly. We were so excited we went out and bought the exact collar she wanted us to have and everything. We told her we wanted a female blue. She said no problem we have 6! And she said we have about 55 other Danes too! SIX BLUES? Wow! And 55 others? Oh my gosh! OK we got ourselves a dog!
I made my husband come home early from work so we could go to the bank and pull money out. We got there and she introduced us to all her dogs. The place was nasty dirty disgusting. And all I kept thinking was, “Gosh I used to watch Batman and Robin. This is how Robin lives?” It sort of blew my whole image of them that I had as a child. When I met Tracy, she was scatterbrained and a mess, just like her home which further made my image of “Robin” even worse! So as she went to go get some of the adoptive dogs we saw these rats, the size of cats eating the dog food. They would take a piece and scurry into Tracy’s home. I had never seen anything like the before. I was aghast and sort of just wanted to get my new blue dog and leave.
So she starts bringing these dogs out. If I thought the place was bad, I was in for an even bigger shock. Dogs that were underweight, broken legs, really bad bad bad shape. I felt bad for them. Their heads hung low and they were clearly not well. One of them had a leg that kinked in. I asked what happened and she said that the dog had been hit by a car but was fine. The dog hardly looked fine. So then she brings out this cute black female. I thought ‘oh she is nice’ but I told her I really wanted a blue. So they turn this dog around and tons of worms are falling out of her rear end. So I said “Umm, excuse me, there are worms coming out of her”. Her response was “oh she is fine she just got dewormed it hasn’t taken effect yet”. Oiy is what I am thinking at this point. So the very last dog comes out. It is a brindle. So cute and lesser of the evils. She was thin but no worms and legs in tact. Of course we show interested and the fee goes up to $400 instead of $300 we were told. So we hand over the cash and take the “18 month old”, Ha! Yea.
To start she was not spayed. No shot record was ever given. I took her to the Vet immediately because she was so thin. She was 5+ years old, had a heart murmur, and cataracts in both eyes. She also was not trained and chased down my 14 year old Siamese. So I got her fixed, got her shots done, enrolled her into training and called Tracy. I told her everything and she said that “Vets who don’t regularly work on Danes don’t know how they age so they always overage them. When I saw your dog run she ran like an 18 month old”. So she tells me to get a second opinion. I do. Same story, different Vet. So she tells me to bring her up to her Vet and it is a whole different story. The dog is fine blah blah blah. So I take the dog back to my house thinking I am the idiot. The dog continues to chase my cat and hide food like she had never eaten before. I felt so bad for her but I just couldn’t have her in my home chasing my very elderly cat.
So I returned her. She was heavier (Duck & Potato of course. Never Alpo or whatever it was she wanted me to feed her), spayed (at my expense), shots were done (at my expense too), and she had been in training. $2500 (not counting the “adoption fee”) later and they take the dog back. They ask if I want another one. At this point, no way! I can’t afford another $2500 to fix another dog that was already 5+ years old and was going to need major surgery. Like I told her, I am prepared to do all that is medically and surgically necessary as the owner of a Dane, I just wasn’t prepared to do it all right away. The dog I have now has had major surgery but we had 2 years before he had to be done. We have spent well over $10,000 on my guy and wouldn’t change it for the World.So Tracy kept my money, has a better dog than what she gave me and continues on in her quest for taking advantage of people.
My question is, how do they stay in business…yes…business…that is in no way a rescue!”
Here are some links so you can decide for yourself. And please, if things have changed at the rescue, email me. I would love to hear that things have been cleaned up.