Many shelter animals are at risk of being euthanized if they are not adopted. One man decided to do his part to prevent the unnecessary deaths of many of the animals and find them forever homes. Initially, he tried to remain anonymous, so he began dressing up as Batman to hide his identity.
Chris Van Dorn, a 27-year-old from Florida, was always a fan of Batman, according to a report by 9gag. He began using the persona while volunteering for various animal rescue organizations throughout the Orlando area, hoping it would help bring attention to the cause.
Initially, Van Dorn’s goal was to remain anonymous while promoting the importance of pet adoption. However, when he was announced as the “hero of the month” on GoFundMe in May, his identity was revealed.
Van Dorn launched Batman4Paws back in 2018. Since that time, he has traveled the country looking for animals that were at risk of being put down and working to find them new forever homes.
“When I was first starting out, I was keeping everything really anonymous,” said Van Dorn. “I would sign everything ‘Bruce Wayne’ and not put my real name out there.”
“My catchphrase is, ‘It’s not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me,’ and I still hold that true today.”
Van Dorn is hoping he can find a compassionate person who can assist him with his mission by donating a van, allowing him to replace his current “Batmobile” – a Honda Accord – with something that will allow him to transport more animals at a time when he heads out on rescue missions.
He also wants to get his pilot’s license, giving him the means to transport animals by air.
Mr. Boots, Van Dorn’s four-legged sidekick, was recently licensed as a therapy dog, giving the pair the ability to make appearances as Batman and Robin at numerous Florida hospitals. They attend adoption events and fundraisers for shelters in costume as well, which Van Dorn says helps attract more visitors.
Van Dorn’s GoFundMe campaign goes to support Batman4Paws, allowing him to complete more missions. His most recent goal is set at $35,000. As of July 15, nearly $34,000 has been raised.