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Logan Ryan, Titans’ ‘dog whisperer,’ pushes animal rescue into spotlight with fundraiser

In the Titans’ locker room, Logan Ryan is known as the dog whisperer. Just ask Marcus Mariota. When the Titans quarterback needed help training his dog, he gave Ryan a call.

“He helped me kind of figure out potty training,” Mariota said. “Just a little tip here and there. He’s done a lot for me.”

Ryan and his wife, Ashley, have done a lot for animals, which was evident to the over 350 guests at The Bell Tower in downtown Nashville on Friday for “The Chow Down.”

The fundraiser gala, an indoor food and wine festival that benefited the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation, featured a culinary competition between 16 local restaurants. Among the celebrity judges were several members of the Titans, including Ryan and Mariota. Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk presented the Chow Down "Dog-bardi" championship trophy to Hattie B’s.

The event’s goal, Ryan said before it began, was to raise $100,000 through donations and an auction. It raised around $160,000, according to event organizers.

All in the name of animals.

“(Animals) don’t have a voice for themselves,” Ryan said. “Every cause is great, but this is a cause where they can’t speak for themselves and what they need, and I feel like I can be someone to speak for them.”

The Titans cornerback has three dogs himself, all rescues.

“I have them tattooed on my arm,” he said. “I have no more room so I can’t get another one at the moment. We have three rescue dogs currently and two young kids, so our house has no more space right now. We’re booked up.”

But Ryan is still finding homes for animals that need them. His foundation partners with animal welfare organizations to promote adoption.

One thing in particular stands out to Titans center Ben Jones about Ryan’s foundation.

“Some dogs have disabilities and he still takes them in,” Jones said. “It’s been amazing. Just giving these dogs a second chance. So many times, these dogs just need a home. … I see the way his kids are with the dogs and animals and how much they care about the animals, so it’s making me want to get one now.”

Ryan hasn’t been too hard on Jones’ case, though.

“He’s been good about it,” Jones said with a smile. “He don’t really push it on anybody.”

What Ryan does push is his message: Every dog deserves an opportunity.

“Nothing’s wrong with (adopting) a puppy or anything like that, but I just think some of these animals tend to get overlooked. … (People) tend to seem like they don’t want damaged goods. And these animals aren’t damaged goods. I think they deserve more attention. I think someone should speak up for them, and that’s what I’m doing. And I think they have just a huge heart and they unite families like they united mine. I have two large pitbulls and I have young kids and they’re best friends. So I just really think a lot of the stereotypes with rescue animals, pitbulls in particular, (aren’t true).

“Everybody asks me about potty training, about you name it: sit, tricks, basic behavior. I’m encouraging them. A lot of our teammates have rescue animals. A lot of our team is  huge dog and cat lovers. So it’s definitely growing on people.”



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