NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For many fans, Saturday's scrimmage marked the beginning of the new season as the first time they were able to see the Titans in action at Nissan Stadium in 2018. However, Saturday also marked an important new beginning for 16 dogs as they found their forever home.
As part of a collaboration with the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation (RARF), founded by Titans cornerback Logan Ryan and his wife Ashley, as well as the Nashville Humane Association (NHA), the Titans hosted the first-ever Pup Rally at Nissan Stadium. In addition to the 16 families who adopted dogs at the event, thousands more enjoyed playing with the animals and learning about the work of RARF and NHA.
The Pup Rally was a longtime dream for the Ryans, who have helped rescue countless animals through their foundation.
"We've had this idea for a really long time and we just needed to talk to the right people," said Ashley Ryan. "The Titans are so supportive of it, Amy Adams Strunk is so supportive of it—she's a huge dog lover. To see everybody jump on board and care about our cause has been really exciting."
Joseph Lundie, who traveled from Columbia, TN, to attend the scrimmage, said that he had a feeling he might adopt a pet at the Pup Rally if he was able to find the right fit for his family. He ultimately adopted a puppy named Molly. :
"It's awesome. I think it's great that they have it set up here. Everybody can come in and see [the animals]. I think it's great for all the dogs that are trying to get adopted," Lundie said.
For NHA, the Pup Rally provided a unique venue to showcase their animals and encourage adoptions.
"We are super excited to partner with the Titans and the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation to provide a platform to raise awareness for homeless animals and animals that are in need of homes," said NHA executive director Laura Chavarria. "It's kind of a joint effort—the Titans are huge animal lovers—so it's great to be able to be here in front of [the fans] and show them how great our shelter animals are and how much they're in need of a loving forever home."
The Ryans continued to support and encourage pet adoptions even after the Pup Rally concluded. For one day after the event, RARF committed to covering the adoption fees for all unadopted Pup Rally dogs as well as all other adult dogs at NHA. By weekend's end, a total of 40 dogs had been adopted thanks to the efforts of RARF and NHA.
"The turnout of fans here has been incredible," Ashley Ryan noted. "Everybody gets to come pet puppies at football practice, which I just think is really cool. It's a win-win."