Real-Life Batman Is The Hero Every Shelter Animal Needs
The only difference between the comic book Batman and this one, is that there’s a lot more pet hair on this superhero costume!
Batman is here to save the day—and not just for the people of Gotham City but for shelter animals across the country!
Chris Van Dorn, 27, is the real-life Batman who has made it his life mission to rescue cats, dogs and other animals from being euthanized. Through his nonprofit organization Batman4Paws, Van Dorn transports animals from shelters to their furever homes, foster homes or no-kill animal facilities. Van Dorn primarily works in Florida, but he has transported animals outside the state as well.
And, of course, "transports are done personally by Batman himself using any means necessary," Van Dorn writes on his website. The only difference between the comic book Batman and this one is that there's a lot more pet hair on this superhero costume!
"The number one reason I do what I do is to give back to the community that has given me so much," Van Dorn tells Daily Paws. "The second reason is the feeling I get seeing animals making it out of a bad situation into a good one. Too many pets are locked up in cages in the shelter or in worse conditions like hoarding situations, so to be a part of their journey helping them make it to a loving fur-ever home is priceless."
Van Dorn's love for rescues started in 2014 when he adopted his own dog, an Australian shepherd named Mr. Boots. Mr. Boots was found wandering in the woods in Alabama by himself before nonprofit PilotsnPaws rescued him and transported the adorable Aussie to his forever home with Van Dorn.
Van Dorn said his experience adopting Mr. Boots changed his life. That's when Van Dorn became the Dark Knight himself.
The 27 year old decided to choose Batman for a couple of reasons including the first and most obvious one: "I just thought the suit looked super cool!" He said that he also chose Batman because he really liked the idea that the superhero didn't have any superpowers.
"I liked how Batman didn't have any superpowers yet he still made a difference in the world. I felt that really resonated with the idea of my nonprofit," he says. "That anyone can make a difference if they just take action."
Most recently, Batman rescued two Siamese kittens and brought them from Orlando, Fla., to their forever home in Gulf Breeze, Fla. The Dark Knight is also currently fostering a kitten named Kobe, who was recently neutered and vaccinated and is ready to go to his fur-ever home.
Instead of a batmobile, Van Dorn has a Honda Accord. He hopes that more donations to Batman4Paws will allow him to upgrade to a van so he can transport more animals at once.
Batmobile or Honda—Van Dorn says he loves what he does: "Hands down my favorite part of the job is knowing I'm helping fur friends make it to a loving environment where they will be cared for as well as helping individuals find that companion animal."