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Local Entrepreneur Gives Back

Ryan Kelly donates to STARelief & Pet Assistance

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Stamford, CT | Added on January 25, 2015 At 06:17 PM

Two years ago, 11 year-old Ryan Kelly appeared on ABC's Shark Tank with his idea and his best friend Barkley.

"I thought it would be the coolest idea once I got my rescue dog Barkley to start making fresh, all natural treats for him,"said Ryan Kelly, founder of Ry's Ruffery.

Daniela, Ryan's mom said, "He didn't want to feed the dog any treats that had a funny smell and that probably weren't that great for him. He started making his own and passed them out to his friends and then he was invited by Heather and STARelief to sell them." 

Now Ryan is continuing to give back to the organization gave him his start - STARelief & Pet Assistance in Stamford.

"Rather than turn a pet over to a shelter because people can't afford to take care of them either with food or veterinary care, they can come to us and fill out an application and if they need pet food we can supply that to them. If they need veterinary care, we can help with the payment of that. We help people keep their pets happy, healthy and home," said Melanie Soper, Campaign Manager for STARelief & Pet Assistance.

"We sold the treats right outside with a little table at the pet adoption events and after every single event, we always sold out of every single bag of treats and we'd donate a percentage and the tip jar back to STARelief," said Ryan.

The organization hosted a Puppy Bowl Sunday where Ryan's treats became a favorite halftime snack for the dogs.

"It was amazing really to see a kid with that much drive. He really is passionate about it and he loves animals and he wanted to do something for animals and look where it got him," said Soper.

From selling his treats outside the High Ridge Shopping Center to now being found at Target, the Kelly Family, including Barkley and Tito, say the journey is just beginning.

"It's been an amazing journey for all of us, but I have to say one of the best parts of it is to see him come back to an event like this where he got his start. It's nice to circle back and be right where we came from," said Daniela.

"I hope in the future to expand into maybe pet toys, because my dogs really like chasing toys down the hallway. I also hope to maybe expand into dog food. I think that'd be a good line of products to do," said Ryan.

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