Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw had always rescued dogs, but things got official when the pair jumped in to save 600 suddenly homeless pups following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That’s when they organized as the nonprofit Danny & Ron’s Rescue.
Based in Camden, S.C., where they work as horse trainers, Danny and Ron have long been providing dogs for Wellington families that they meet at equestrian events. Their story has been immortalized in the documentary Life in the Doghouse, currently available on Netflix.
Danny and Ron have turned their own house into the ultimate safe haven, personally caring for injured and abused animals until they are ready for adoption. Each dog receives a wellness check from a veterinarian, then is spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, dewormed, groomed and loved like part of the family.
Prior to Katrina, Danny and Ron would go to the shelters, save four or five dogs from euthanasia, rehab them a bit and adopt them out to friends in the horse community.
“We’d go to the greyhound kennels, where 150 dogs were scheduled to be put down, pick up six or eight greyhounds and take them home to our South Carolina campus,” Ron recalled. “Since Katrina, we’ve rescued 11,500 dogs.”
The couple were at their second home in Wellington when that deadly storm changed their lives.
“We had just bought a house in Wellington the year before, so we were there when all the chaos began,” Danny said. “Many of our friends were involved with the horse rescue, but when we turned on the TV and saw all the stranded animals, we felt that that was where we could really fit in. It touched our hearts and caused us to take big steps in that direction.”
Since then, they’ve rescued dogs from junkyards, freed animals chained to trees and saved abandoned pets living on the streets. They rescue over-bred, long-caged puppy mill dogs; bait dogs used in dog fighting; and shelter dogs about to be euthanized.
“In Danny’s barn, we used to do cats, too,” Ron said. “We had cages on both sides of the aisles and caging across the aisle and over the tack room. We used to call it the Kitty Hilton. But once we started doing such huge numbers of dogs, well, it’s hard to rescue dogs and cats in that volume and keep them all safe. So, we focused on dogs.”
While they love to place dogs in loving Wellington homes, they also support the work of the many other animal rescues.
“With five airlines showing the Netflix movie, we get calls from California, from Europe, from far away,” Ron said. “We ask them to go to their local shelters and save a life.”
“All we want is awareness in the world,” Danny said. “If each person who appreciated our movie would help one animal or one shelter, that’s total gratification for us.”
Learn more about their mission at www.dannyronsrescue.org.