Making It: Spoil Your Pet with Locally-Sourced Treats

MAKER: Dawn DeFrank

BUSINESS: Spoiled Dog Boss

WHO RESCUED WHO?: Dawn DeFrank rescued her 8-year-old Pit Bull/Dalmatian mix, Daisy, from a life of being beaten, malnourished, and mistreated by her previous owners. Daisy has suffered from brain damage, arthritis, stomach issues, and has endured several surgeries over the years. “She was a mess,” Dawn explained. “But with my help, she came into the right hands.”

TROUBLING TREATS: Daisy “has a lot of medical issues, and I was having a hard time finding a treat that she could eat that wouldn’t affect her in certain ways,” Dawn said. “So I decided I was going to start making her treats for her.” She began her research by taking pictures of products in pet stores, and then searching the ingredients online when she got home. “It was really scary, the stuff they were putting in the treats, and I thought, ‘there has to be a better way’.” The breaking point was around Thanksgiving in 2014, when a store-bought pet treat made Daisy extremely ill. “There was a recall in my inbox the following Monday, and it was the same treat, same lot,” Dawn said. While in the hospital with Daisy, she decided to start making her own pet treats full time, to help combat the unsafe ingredients in commercial products.

LOOKING AHEAD: Dawn has been spoiling dogs and cats alike with her line of delicious and healthy treats, made from fresh, local ingredients, and now she’s ready to expand. “The plan for the future of this business is to launch dog food,” she said. “I want a healthier choice for dogs.” In addition to the health benefits of her product line, her work also helps benefit local farmers by reducing the amount of animal waste on a daily basis.

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