When Zack Eller celebrated his sixth birthday, he asked guests of his party to donate dog food to local shelters in lieu of gifts.
Since then, the Atlanta teen has been hooked on the idea of helping animals — so much so that he’s formed a dog treat company that sends all of its profits to area shelters. Now he, his younger brother and their friends are spending their time in the kitchen, baking treats made of peanut butter, applesauce, flour, eggs, milk and cornmeal and packaging them for droves of local dogs who just can’t get enough.
The Woof ’em Down Dog Biscuit Company sells online and at farmer’s markets, and business is picking up. “The most we’ve ever done in one day was like close to a thousand. I think it was like 950 biscuits.” said Zach Eller’s friend Alex.
Many teens would scoff at the notion of spending a summer working for charity, but Zack feels it’s worth the sacrifice considering what dogs give back to us. “They’re always fun to be around. They always love you no matter what happens during the day, they still love you and they’ll still play with you no matter what,” he said.
Eller says he has a specific passion for homeless dogs and the challenges they face. “Every year just in Atlanta, there are six to eight million dogs that are homeless that have to be put down. And I’m just trying to save as many as those as I possible can,” he said.
With over $12,000 dollars donated to date, there is no question that his efforts are making a difference, and for Zack and brother Thomas, that’s the best possible paycheck.
“It doesn’t matter how small you are, it just matters how big your heart is,” said Thomas Eller.