Teen Makes Bow Ties for Shelter Dogs In An Effort to Help Them Get Adopted
It all started when he made a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bowtie. Darius Brown, who first learned to sew a bowtie at 8 years old from his older sister, wore this accessory to school, subsequently inspiring many of his friends to ask for one of their own. What started as an innocent interest quickly turned into a hobby as Brown continued to make ties for those who asked for one.
It was two years later, in 2017, that Darius discovered another way to put his hobby to good use. Following Hurricane Irma, hundreds of dogs and cats were left homeless in Florida and Puerto Rico. With so many animals in need of a home and so many heart wrenching pictures to look through, Darius decided to help some pets stand out from the pack – literally!
What makes for a better picture than an adorable animal wearing a goofy bowtie? With this in mind, Darius dropped of 25-pet-sized bowties to the ASPCA in New York City. His idea worked better than he could have ever imagined. These accessories helped to bring out an animal’s unique personality and draw adopters in.
“Animals who wear them get adopted right away because people find them instantly charming,” said Lorri Caffrey, executive director of the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover, N.J, to the New York Times.
It is estimated that Darius has as donated over 600 bowties to animals in shelters over the last 4 years. He makes around 10 bowties every week now, with each one taking about 15 minutes to complete.
Though he does not have a dog himself, Darius gets his “puppy fill” every time he visits the shelter. One day, he hopes to open a foster shelter for dogs and expand his canine accessory line to include sweaters and vests.
“A well-dressed dog,” he said. “That will make people smile.”