With a passion for dogs, animal rescue and good design Brooklyn based Bethany Obrecht and Anna Conway in 2006 founded Found My Animal – a company that dress your dog with the most fashion forward accessories and at the same time has an important Mission: Rescuing dogs. When buying any of their eye catching, nautical inspired leashes and collars, not only do you get a unique piece of art handmade with lots of love, you also directly contribute to saving a dog’s life.
Denjo met with Bethany Obrecht to learn some more about their work with rescuing dogs. Enjoy the interview!
Denjo love your rescue mission and we also love the design of Found My Animal collars and leashes. Did you design the nautical-themed dog supplies, that have become synonymous with Found My Animal, yourself?
I attended Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a BFA in photography in 2006. I moved to New York to pursue a career in photography and set design. I began working with Anna Conway on Found My Animal in 2007. We collaborated on the initial design of our core dog lead and waxed collar, and our new strength flag collection. I am still the lead dyer of all our products, and I literally inspect and dye every Found My Animal product. I see our products as art- each piece is unique with a real studio made feeling. When we started, and for many years after, I was working as a prop stylist for photography by day, and making leashes by night in my Brooklyn apartment.
In what way do Found My Animal actually work with rescuing dogs?
All our branding speaks about our core values encouraging people to Rescue over purchase. We invest funds and time to speaking about our mission at tradeshows, and partner with retailers to help spread the message. We recently invested in a more robust website going live soon! With a big new build out dedicated to raising awareness for homeless animals, where they will be featured online. Last year, we purchased a brand new Ford transit van and started our rescue road trips with a rescue we support in Florida, to give homeless animals a ride to their forever homes in New York City. So far in one year, the vehicle has traveled 100,000 miles saving dogs. We donate product to rescues for fundraising auctions and animal shelters, we feature adoptable animals on our social media, we foster animals regularly, and we hold adoption events at retail locations.
How many dog leashes and collars have you sold so far?
We recently made our 100,000th rope dog leash. Hundreds of thousands. That’s incredible to me. Hundreds of thousands of people with rescue dogs, starting conversations about this most important topic. I’m living the dream I had when I was in my early twenties. As for how many dogs I have personally helped find a new home? I can’t quantify it, because I go to the studio every day and make leashes with a purpose- I think it’s working. I see my leashes on the street. Personally I have rescued hundreds of dogs, but how many dogs has Found My Animal helped save? I’d love to know- I think more than I imagined.
Where do you wish Found My Animal to be in five years?
Everywhere. Available to everyone, carrying the message #adoptdontshop far and wide. I am not interested in exclusivity. We are about our mission and the message we want to spread.
What’s your best advice in getting people engaged in the adopt don’t shop mission?
Please visit your local shelter and spend time with the homeless animals. Take pictures, and share them on social media. This saves lives. Foster a dog, and be a part of the rescue journey. Experience what it means to help find a homeless dog a forever home. Donate to a reputable organization if you can not foster, to help support the amazing people actively helping animals. Become educated, read about why puppy mills should be banned, and understand the puppy supply chain and how it works. Start conversations with friends about why it’s better to Rescue over purchase- because there are homeless pure bred dogs out there! And mixed breeds are perfect too.
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