(Keith, Olaf and Declan)
Most college students spend their time concerned with everyday things: how to study for tests, what they will have for dinner, or how soon they can go out with their friends again. But for two University of Notre Dame students, their biggest concern is finding a way to help save the thousands of dogs that are unnecessarily euthanized each year.
Meet Declan Feeley and Keith Wertsching, the founders of Dogs Saving Dogs. Dogs Saving Dogs sells high quality, locally engraved jewelry, of which the two students donate 50% of the profits directly towards helping save specific rescue dogs. Their signature product is a custom engraved charm set, with a necklace for a person and a matching charm on a snap-clip for their dog.
“The reason for selling a charm set was so that both the owner and their dog can wear a charm, symbolizing the shared connection felt between people and their pets,” explains Declan. “We actually custom engrave each necklace with the specific name of the dog that we help to rescue.”
Dogs Saving Dogs started out small, with Keith and Declan assembling each charm set by hand in Declan’s dorm room. However, over the past 4 months the two students have expanded their company significantly, partnering with 5 different rescues and benefiting from the support they have received from the animal community. They sell mainly through their online website, though they also sell in several small boutique shops located around their school.
“Our goal in starting Dogs Saving Dogs was to help save as many dogs as we could,” says Keith, “but we were also very focused about how we went about accomplishing this goal. When we were designing the charms, one of the most important things for us was having the charms made in America with the highest quality materials, and locally engraved by people in our community.”
Keith and Declan have remained committed to this goal, sourcing all of their materials locally and ensuring that each charm set is made with the greatest care. They also maintain this same level of attention to detail when it comes to helping care for rescue dogs. The 50% of profits that the company donates go directly towards paying for the food, toys, bedding, vaccinations, grooming, and medical care for the animal in need. All of its rescue partners are volunteered based, so the duo can be comfortable in knowing that the money is going towards the care of the dogs in need.
People who want to learn more about Dogs Saving Dogs can visit them online, or look for them on Twitter or Facebook. “As long as people continue to support us, we will continue to do what we love,” says Declan, “and that is helping save rescue dogs by selling jewelry that we can be proud of.”