By Britney Grover
Portraits by Isabel J. Kurek
As a realtor with the Luxury Division at Keller Williams in Wellington, Florida, Luis J. Rodriguez is always busy. He spends his time dealing with some of the most beautiful residences in the area, such as the Cypress Island estate in the Palm Beach Polo Club listed at nearly $7 million. And with every sale, Luis is changing lives. He donates a portion of all his earnings to Danny & Ron’s Rescue, the Wellington dog rescue organization that has been helping abused, neglected or otherwise in-need dogs to find healthy, happy lives with humans for 16 years. Luis is on track to donate tens of thousands of dollars in 2021, but for him, it’s about much more than money. “My goals are to spread the word about rescue and help in every way that I can,” he said. “If we can concentrate all of the power we have into love, then the rest will fall into place.”
What’s been your experience with horses?
Horses were always in my periphery when I was a kid, whether in Texas at one of my uncle’s ranches or in northwest Miami were we later moved. My dad would take us to the rodeo in southwest Davie, Florida, and outside El Paso, Texas, so that we could see the barrel racing. My formal riding didn’t take place until I was in my 20s and started riding at Palm Beach Riding Academy with one of my now best friends. That was the beginning of my Wellington lifestyle.
Do you still ride?
Not much in the last year, unless you consider trail riding on vacation “riding.” I’m hoping to get back in the saddle when I have a little more time!
How did you become a realtor?
It was completely by chance! There I was, socializing at a restaurant bar somewhere in Palm Beach and a realtor friend of a friend approached me. She said that she had watched me speak to almost everyone who came inside and that I already knew a good number of the patrons. She could get me into a business where I would speak to people all the time and that I should join her firm at BRP Realty on Worth Avenue. That was such an exciting time for me!
What’s special to you about the Wellington area?
Wellington had always been somewhere I would go during my high school years at Cardinal Newman to visit friends. I would always wonder why people who lived there didn’t want to live near the ocean! Now, I know how unique and truly special our lifestyle is here in Wellington. This community has opened so many doors for me and as an animal lover, it’s always easy to find a kindred spirit here!
What inspired you to find a way to give back to the community?
Time! My career in real estate is extremely demanding of time, and I wanted to find a way to help animals find homes while helping people find homes. It seems like a daunting task at first, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
How did you decide what to do?
My husband, Ron Davis, had already completed a fabulous documentary movie about Danny & Ron’s Rescue called “Life in the Doghouse.” It chronicles two of the most giving men who have found it in their hearts to save thousands and thousands of dogs. I thought if they can devote so much of their lives for a cause they believe in, then I need to get off my butt and start helping!
What is your goal for your donations to Danny & Ron’s?
My goal is to try to give back to a rescue that has given so much already. I’m inspired by their story and want to help them achieve so many goals, especially a program that would go state to state and provide free spay and neutering for pets or strays.
Do you have rescue pets of your own?
Yes, we have four dogs. Mr. Brown, a Dachshund mix who was in “Life in the Doghouse” — my little movie star! Our little blonde Chihuahua, Little Guy, is a second Danny & Ron’s Rescue dog. Ceecee is our only female, she’s a Jack Russel mix and she is the absolute queen. Finally, our last addition is a little Chihuahua who came from a busy home with tons of kids, and he’s a bit happier in a quieter home with us.
What would you like to tell others who want to do good in their community?
It has never been in my nature to tell people what they should and should not do. I would instead like to ask people to do as I have done and search deep down inside for that inner child — the one who wanted to carry home every stray pet they found and bring blankets to those in the cold. We are only given one shot at this world and I intend to make mine count for something good!