Inside Baltimore Ravens' Ronnie Stanley's Dog Rescue Foundation
This feature is in our Dec. "Creative Arts" Issue. Click here to subscribe.
Ronnie Stanley is more than just a football player. Outside of his NFL schedule, he is revolutionizing the local dog rescue mentality.
Baltimore Ravens player Ronnie Stanley PHOTO COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS AND ROC NATION SPORTS
Jet-lagged after the Baltimore Ravens’ stint in London, Ronnie Stanley (@megatronnie) gets straight to work, and that doesn’t include football. After adopting his pit bull, Lola, following his move to Baltimore for some emotional support in an intense transition, Stanley noticed a problem within the dog adoption world.
In 2021, the All-Pro offensive tackle took it upon himself to start the Ronnie Stanley Foundation (@ronniesfoundation), which seeks to train dogs in shelters for a specific purpose, whether that be for emotional support or as guide dogs. Th us, he assembled a team to keep the wheels turning while he was busy at the 50-yard line.
Stanley visited Patterson Park Public Charter School in Baltimore in November 2022. PHOTO COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS AND ROC NATION SPORTS
Although Stanley didn’t grow up with dogs until later in life, his passion for their care and opportunity is fervent. By getting involved in this community and promoting education about not merely adopting dogs based on aesthetics or stereotypes, he has fostered a culture that ensures that dogs in shelters will be suitable for veterans, children in need and first responders.
He recognizes the positive impact of having man’s best friend around for more than just to be a trophy. Working closely with the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Center (BARCS), the pups initially start the program in foster homes where they are potty- and crate-trained. During this step, the team gets to know their personalities and quirks to ultimately find them the perfect match.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BALTIMORE RAVENS AND ROC NATION SPORTS
One of the most important initiatives is visiting local schools and meeting with classes of all ages to emphasize the importance of kindness to animals, the meaning of participating in rescuing and how to properly greet a dog to ensure a positive exchange.
In the past year, the foundation has placed 15 dogs who have all come from BARCS animal shelter. And, earlier this year, the foundation partnered with Heart + Paw Fells Point to bring veterinary services to newly trained therapy dogs.