For years, New York Giants safety Logan Ryan and his wife, Ashley, have done whatever they could to help shelter animals and the facilities that care for and try to find them forever homes.
The couple has run the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation (RARF) since 2017, and had been working to find needy dogs, especially pitbulls and similar breeds, homes for a couple of years prior to establishing the foundation.
“We were doing a lot of work behind the scenes to help shelter animals. We were doing little things like posting adoptable dogs on social media, promoting hard to adopt animals and my wife was actually working at an animal shelter,” Logan said. “After our wedding, a photo and story of us helping a rescue group in St. Lucia went viral. So many people reached out asking how they could help, too. We had plans to start a foundation eventually, but the viral story really sped up the process. Starting RARF was very organic and we still operate that way to this day.”
Ryan has been with the Giants since the beginning of the 2020 season after playing for the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans. The couple has continued their outreach in the New York/New Jersey area.
“Everything is bigger in NY. The support has grown, coverage of our foundation has grown. This fan base is truly amazing and has embraced me and my foundation since I came here,” Logan said. “COVID has made things tricky, but we’ve been working behind the scenes to build relationships with local groups so we can continue making an impact for shelter animals in our new city.”
Read the couple’s story on the RARF website, and you understand that it was — and is — Ashley’s passion that truly drives this effort by the couple.
“We pride ourselves on being an organization that is ever changing to meet the needs of our community. The pandemic changed things for everyone, including animals. We’ve done our best to adapt our grants and programs to help with the things we’re seeing now,” Ashley said. “We’ve helped a lot of animals and shelter staff with our grants and we continue to do that, but our emphasis right now is on helping people and animals stay together. Helping people keep their animals and making sure they have the resources to do so.”
Here is the “What We Do’ section of the RARF website:
The Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation (RARF) is a public non-profit organization established in May of 2017 by NFL Defensive Back, Logan Ryan, and his wife, Ashley!
RARF is dedicated to supporting the animal welfare community through financial and educational resources.
By providing such resources to animal welfare organizations throughout the U.S., RARF can advance initiatives that focus on keeping pets and people together, helping to create humane communities and improve the lives of animals in shelters and rescues.
We are constantly expanding our programs to meet the needs of our animal welfare partners and make an impact on communities nationwide.
The couple’s dog, Leonardo, is a big part of their story and how they began to realize there were so many dogs who needed more help than shelters or their owners could provide. From the RARF website:
Logan always supported Ashley’s passion for animal welfare by headlining events, monetary support, donating auction items and more, but it was the couple’s experience with Leo that propelled Logan’s own passion for saving dogs. Shortly after adopting Leo, he needed his first surgery for a dislocated hip. It was a long recovery, but the Ryan’s did everything they could to help Leo get back to his old, goofy self. A few months later, he needed another surgery on his knee. And another. And another. And another.
Logan often wondered what would have happened to Leo had he not been adopted by a family who had the resources and flexibility to take care of his medical needs. Would he have lived a life in pain? Would he have been returned to the rescue? Worse? What happens to other dogs in Leo’s situation?
Here is how you can help. RARF is currently running a ‘Defending Animals, Defending Passes’ fundraising campaign. Go to the site and pledge whatever you can for each tackle Ryan makes on the field during the 2021 season. The campaign has currently raised more than $17,000 this year with a goal of $25,000.