At a glance: Found My Animal is a line of rope and canvas pet accessories designed specifically for adopted pets and their people.
Who’s behind the brand? The brand was, in a sense, created by two Walters, both adopted chihuahuas, who met on the streets of New York and introduced their humans. The humans, Bethany Obrecht and Anna Conway, found they had a similar background in the arts (check out Bethany’s photography here and Anna’s paintings here) and shared a common goal of raising awareness of animal welfare and adoption (over the years they have fostered over 50 animals between the two of them!). The inspiration for the actual products came from Anna’s father-in-law - a fisherman and oyster farmer (and, incidentally, the brains behind Sea-to-Table, a fabulous organization that helps connect fisherman directly with restauranteurs) and his nautical dock lines and ropes. When Anna saw those materials she knew they would be perfect for sturdy dog leashes and collars. Marry that discovery with the desire to help rescue dogs and give back to the community, and in 2007 Found My Animal was born. They now run a small studio with 10 full-time workers who make everything by hand.
What do they do? Found My Animal makes all sorts of pet accessories (and a few for their humans as well) including leashes, collars, beds, travel water bowls, carriers, and harnesses. They also have a few extras like charms for both animals and humans, and even the odd jump rope thrown in for good measure. The canvas goods are all waxed with non-toxic pet-safe substances, and the rope pieces, which really are the standouts from the line, are all based on centuries-old nautical materials - three-strand ropes, hand-spliced and whipped (we didn’t know either, but it turns out those are old nautical terms), and made to withstand thousands of pounds of pull and any other kind of abuse you and your beast can dish out. Everything is handmade, and sourced locally and domestically. You can see a great video that highlights some of the production process here.
Bonus feel-good aspect? Their motto is “Let your pet wear your values”, and the easily identifiable Found My Animal collars and leashes have become like a badge of honor, a proud statement of support for choosing animal adoption over purchasing your pet. But in addition to raising awareness for the cause with their thoughtful branding, Found My Animal donates 25% of all its proceeds to charitable organizations related to rescue, shelter, and adoption of animals. You can find a list of all the organizations they’ve donated to to-date here, and it really is quite an impressive one. They also have a super sweet tumblr that features not just heart-melting photos of handsome dogs sporting their beautiful wares, but also lots of reader-submitted adoption stories guaranteed to bring a little tear to your eye and have you heading out to your local shelter to get your next companion. We also have to mention here that they just recently became a B Corp, which is a new certification for companies that promote ethical business models and help give back to their communities. Find out more about B-Corps here.
What materials do they use? The ropes are all marine-grade hand-spliced and whipped, and made from either 100% cotton or, in the case of the black or white ones, recycled P.E.T, which we think is extra awesome just for the pun of it. The harnesses are made of 100% cotton webbing, and the waxed canvas is 100% cotton as well. All the hardware is marine-grade solid brass.
Where are they based? All their products are handmade in their Williamsburg studio in Brooklyn, New York.
Editors’ favorites from the line? The leashes, for sure. Not just because they are so beautiful in this minimalist rugged New England fisherman kind of way, but because of the sheer genius and utility of them. They have added moveable O-rings into the weave of the rope, so in addition to carrying it like a regular leash, you can hook it onto itself in a number of configurations allowing you to wear it around your waist, over your chest and shoulder, or clip it onto a fence, tree or post. We love the option to go hands-free on our walks! The dip-dyed ombre ones are gorgeous in all the colorways, but we also love the plain navy and the rugged-looking natural options as well.
Where can I get the goods? We always like to encourage people to get the goods straight from the designers themselves, and Found My Animal has a great online store so that’s the first place we would look. But they are also carried by a ton of other retailers, including Pet Swag, Waiting on Martha, Old Faithful Shop, Free People, Birchbox, Third Drawer Down, In God We Trust http://ingodwetrustnyc.com/products/found-my-animal-leash-1 , Sevenly, Unionmade, Nasty Gal, Olive Green, and for those of you in Europe, it might be easier to order from Poochy, or Sooky’s.