Found My Animal

Walter the chihuahua is at least partially responsible.

It was 2006 and Walter and his owner, Bethany Obrecht, were walking together on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn when they came across someone else walking their hound – who also turned out to be called Walter.

“The Walters were sizing each other up and we started a conversation that quickly revealed our passion for animal welfare,” Bethany explains.

Within minutes, the two realized that they had more in common than matching dog names, backgrounds in design and art and a thing for adopted hounds. 

Found My Animal, a dog accessories brand on a quest to change the world, was launched by the pair shortly after.

“Our mission is to help promote animal welfare through celebration of animal adoption in a very direct way: let your animal wear the message,” co-founder Anna Conway explains.

Graduates of Cooper Union and Rhode Island School of Design respectively, the pair were well equipped to design their own commercial world-changing product.  Inspired by an oyster farmer and fisherman in Anna’s family in Massachusetts, the first Found My Animal dog lead prototype was created from hand whipped dock line and marine hardware that was lying around the house.  

From thereon in, every Found My Animal lead and collar has been made from hand spliced, marine-grade, UV resistant, adjustable rope manufactured in the US, and fitted with solid brass hardware and an individually numbered tag. 

Found My Animal donates a portion of their profits to animal rescue organizations and has become an international success, counting Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, and Martha Stewart amongst its customers and Twilight star Nikki Reed as its ambassador.  But it’s the company’s ability to promote dog adoption which is closest to its founder’s hearts.  

The statistics are somewhat bewildering. In the 2013-2014 calendar year, the RSPCA received 45954 dogs in their shelters and had to euthanize 15.9% of them.  In the USA, the figures are even more dramatic.  While currently no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for animal protection in the States, The ASPCA estimates that of the estimated 3.9 million dogs received into their shelters every year, 1.2 million are euthanized and 25% of them are pure breds.

It’s no wonder that, beween the two of them, Anna and Beth have adopted 50 animals.

“I personally have had two pit bull puppies, a kitten, a severely abused rottweiler, an elderly golden retriever mix, and my own two rescues in my house in Bed Stuy,” says Beth.

Found My Animal’s signature product is their dog lead in ‘rescue orange’ (the colour of animal protection awareness in the US) and, because they’ve been designed for city dwellers, each one is fitted with an adjustable O ring, allowing the lead to be wrapped and worn in a myriad of ways.

“You can wrap it around your chest or waist and continue drinking your coffee while texting – multitasking like every seasoned New Yorker does,” Anna explains.

The Found My Animal instagram account @foundmyanimal, a canine version of Human of New York, champions the rescue dogs of the city and is likely to be the best fodder in your feed.

But Anna and Beth are realistic.

“Sometimes all it takes is a picture of an animal in need to generate the energy and enthusiasm for change.

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Found My Animal’s dog leads are available in orange, navy and natural spliced rope. Orange collars, blue collars, and natural rope collars are also available.

 

With help from Steven Alan and We are Juxt

First image source
Second image source