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Inside Steven Alan

A Conversation With Found My Animal

  • November 6th, 2012 | Home, In Stock, New Arrivals

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    We recently spoke with Bethany Obrecht and Anna Conway, the partners behind Found My Animal, about the story behind their collection of dog leashes and accessories.

    {Claude and Henri}

    How did the two of you meet?
    We met on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn while walking our two rescue pups, both of whom were named Walter. The Walters were sizing each other up and we started a conversation that quickly revealed our passion for animal welfare.

    Your mission is to help raise awareness for the need for pet adoption. When did you know you wanted to do something to make a difference?
    Caring for animals is something you are almost born into. We both had animals as small children. I think we both knew we wanted to make a difference when we were little kids. Anna spent time trying to rescue worms “stranded” on sidewalks when she was a kid, and I used to rescue worms from boys in the school yard. In all seriousness, the dilemma facing unwanted animals is incredible. According to the ASPCA, of the 5-7 million companion animals entering the shelter system every year, 3-4 million are euthanized. Incredibly, 25% of dogs that are in shelters are purebreds! The numbers are staggering, and the cost to care for the animals is high. What needs to be done is to advocate hard for affordable,  available spay/neuter programs and animal adoption.

    How did you decide to make dog leashes?
    Anna has a family member who is a fisherman and oyster farmer – the dock line and marine hardware that turned into the first FOUND leash was pretty much just sitting on the kitchen table. The first lead was spliced and whipped right on the waterfront in Massachusetts where she was staying with her family. Cleverly, she wove a couple of o-rings into the rope before closing the splice so she could “wear” the leash around her waist. Together, we determined that we could create a company using these beautiful materials with the intention to celebrate and promote animal adoption.

    We only use local, U.S. labor, a socially conscious decision which makes so much sense to us. Just this month we became a B-Corp – such an exciting new way to encourage consciousness in the corporate realm.

    Can you tell us a bit about the marine-grade and U.S. made fabric you use?
    We domestically source our rope and fabrics. All of our materials are made to be used in any environment. The rope and hardware are built to be used by the ocean. We bump into people in the city who have been using their leashes for five years and they still look beautiful.

    We hear you’ve taken in quite a few dogs yourselves over the years. How many do you think you’ve had in and out of your homes?
    Between the two of us, we’ve fostered over 50 animals. At one time, 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.

    We really enjoyed looking at the photos of adopted animals people share on your website and reading their stories. Is there a particular story you’ve heard that has really stood out in your memory?
    Our friends at Farm Sanctuary (an absolutely awesome rescue organization) told us about one of their newer rescues, Elliot, a little goat that managed to escape Brooklyn’s Live Market – lucky guy ended up rescued and is living in blissful retirement on their sanctuary!

    {Bethany with Claude and Henri at Found My Animal’s studio in Bed Stuy}
    It can be a challenge to have a dog in the city. How do your leashes work with an urban lifestyle?
    Our adjustable leash was invented for city life. There’s nothing like it. You can wrap it around your chest or waist and continue drinking your coffee while texting – multitasking like every seasoned New Yorker does.

    What are your favorite places to go and things to do with your dogs in/around Brooklyn?
    We sort of agree that our favorite things about dogs and walking them is that you can never be bored. The best thing about a dog is that they kind of think every corner is a “hot spot” in NYC!

    Do you have any upcoming projects in the works that you’re really excited about?
    We are funny, we get excited about rope. We never get sick of experimenting with it. We have a few surprises around the corner. You’ll have to tune in . . .

    Many thanks to Bethany and Anna! You can find Found My Animal products in our Chelsea, Fillmore, La Brea, and web shops.

    - Photos by Tre Cassetta

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 at 3:16 pm and is filed under Home, In Stock, New Arrivals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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