After his unceremonious firing from the NFL in 2011 for being “too soft” on the players, Dan decided to set his referee sights a little lower. Like 4 ft lower.
10 years later, as the only human on a field of adorable adoptable animals, being the Puppybowl Ref has become a full-time job for Schachner. The most recent Puppybowl XVI airing was a huge success, along with the spinoff shows "Dog Bowl" and his live adoption show "Give a Dog A Home."
Yes, The Ref’s been pooped-on, peed-on, and jumped-on. While pups may not respect his authority on the field, humans respect his authority as master of dog trivia.
Dan’s appeared on the Today Show to quiz Hoda and Kathy Lee on their canine knowledge, and every week he produces and hosts “PUP QUIZ," a trivia + dog celebration event in partnership NYC’s dog-friendly cafe “Boris and Horton,” with all proceeds going to animal rescue.
A long time advocate for dog rescue and fostering, Dan continues to provide a stop for pups who are crowded out of the shelters and in need of a forever home. Dan was named an ambassador for The Sato Project, which rescues abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico. He also works with countless other rescue groups around the country and continues to raise money for their benefit.
In 2018 Dan was awarded the “Animal Welfare Hero” award from the Baltimore Humane Society.
An expert in pet safety, Dan has partnered in the past with Orbitz, Stella and Chewy’s, Subaru, Petco and Xfinity to promote pet adoption and safe pet travel.