Bow Ties for Bow Wows

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters annually every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.  The ASPCA [American Society for the Cruelty to Animals] estimate that the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011.  The biggest decline was in dogs (from 3.9 million to 3.3 million). This is a problem that needs to be addressed, so that more dogs are adopted. One 12-year old is doing his part to continue in reducing these numbers. This story is how he did it.

Darius Brown's solution to increase dog adoptions . . .

Darius Brown’s passion for animals is matched only by his love for the design and production of bow ties. His organization based Newark, NJ is called Beaux and Paws. Its purpose is to create bowties to dress up shelter dog and improve their probability of getting adopted.

“It helps the dog look noticeable, very attractive,” he told the Today Show. “It helps them find a forever, loving home … I love everything about dogs and cats.”

At two years old, Brown was diagnosed with comprehension delay, speech delay and fine motor skills delay. But with devotion and love, his family encouraged him and his creativity.

Following his passion . . .

At this early age, Darius' mother and older sister Dazhai Brown-Shearz noticed his passions were evident at the ripe old age of 8. It was then they encouraged him to cut fabrics and learn to sew to help make hair ribbons.

“With his fine motor skills, he wasn’t able to really use his hands well — tying a shoe was challenging,” Brown-Shearz told Today. “My mother and I came up with the idea that if he helped us with things like prepping the ribbon or cutting it, and sewing fabric together, it would help him. And it did — it worked!”

From ribbons he gravitated toward bow ties.

“I wear bow ties all the time,” Brown said. “Literally everywhere I go, I wear a bow tie.”


This preteen has since donated hundreds of bow ties to animal shelters throughout the country and is now in the process of fundraising to provide even more of them to dogs and cats who are looking for a home.

According to People Magazine, the Today show reported that he's been receiving donations of fabrics and supplies to aid him with this humanitarian [or should I say "animalitarian"] effort.

Presidential Praise

This young entrepreneur has even been acknowledged by our former President Barack Obama. The president sent him a letter praising Brown for his work and commitment to community service:

Dear Darius,” Obama’s letter began. “After hearing your story, I wanted to reach out to commend you for your commitment to community service. From founding Beaux and Paws to lifting up the lives of those around you, it’s clear you are doing your part to look out for your fellow citizens. And I trust you take tremendous pride in all you have accomplished.”

What can you do?

You can also assist Darius in his endeavors by going to his page and donate it. Currently he has exceeded his goal of $10,000 by collecting $19,425 [as of this posting.] He can also be found on Facebook here, if you're interested in following his success story over time.

Primary Source: People