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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - A teenager in New Jersey has made it his mission to help animals up for adoption put their best paw forward with a little bow tie magic.
Darius Brown has a passion for animals and a heart of gold, reports CBS2's Valerie Castro.
The Newark teenager is only 13, but already has a booming business called Beaux and Paws where he makes adorable, unique bowties to help shelter cats and dogs get adopted.
"I feel like if they're wearing my bow tie it gives them that push, or the dapperness, cuteness they need to find their forever, loving home," said Brown.
The generous idea was actually sparked from disaster. Brown says he desperately wanted to help the dogs that were being rescued and brought up north from the hurricane devastated parts of Florida and Texas.
"While I was watching the news I saw people were helped as much as possible, but I didn't see any cats or dogs at all," he said. "I made it my mission to help as many dogs and cats as I possibly can."
He put his sewing skills to work, a trade his big sister taught him at just 8 years old to help him cope with a fine motor skills delay.
Since then, Brown has been sending colorful, stylish, and unique bowties to shelters across the globe.
"He now has this thing where he spins the wheel and he selects a state and animal shelter," said sister Dazhai Shearz. "At first it was just locally, then we realized it's more than just home."
Up until this point, Brown's business has primarily focused on dogs. But Friday, at Jersey City's Liberty Humane Society, he donated some to cats, something the Humane Society believes will only help.
"When you see a cat in a cage without a collar, without anything soft, it distances you from the animal," said Irene Borngraeber of Liberty Humane Society. "By humanizing them, by dressing them up, we make it more possible for them to find their adoptive home."
Statistically, there are 70% more cats than dogs in animal shelters on the East Coast. Brown wants to do his part to help them get out.
"I said to myself 'I keep on doing dogs, why don't I do cats for a change?'" he said.
Moving forward Brown hopes to make a career of this work, and one day he even plans to open his own animal shelter.
Brown is raising money to travel to different shelters around the USA to donate and assist with adoption events. He was named GoFundMe Kid Hero of January 2020 and his account to his GoFundMe is found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/sirdarius.
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