NEWARK, NJ — There’s a sad reality that Darius Brown has come to grips with after years of charity work at animal shelters in New Jersey: many people don’t value the lives of dogs and cats the same as a human’s. But according to the 15-year-old activist from Newark – who was recently nominated for a Global Child Prodigy Award – there’s no time to let it get you down.
“They need us,” Brown says. “They need more of us.”
Also known as “Sir Darius,” Brown may be a familiar name to many animal lovers in the Garden State. The enterprising youth has created and donated thousands of bow ties for dogs and cats in animal shelters across the world to wear when meeting prospective adopters, increasing their cuteness factors to maximum levels. He’s also dipped his toes into the world of entrepreneurism, founding Beaux and Paws, a company that makes bow ties for canine companions with the help of his family from him.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Brown’s good deeds, according to his proud mother, Joy.
Brown said her son made masks for essential workers and others during the coronavirus pandemic, created and donated “Koala Mittens” to the Koala bears that were victims of the bush fires in Australia, and he’s also started a new initiative, creating “Wag Bags” for shelter pets that include essential items such as treats, toys and food.
Brown has seen wide acclaim and praise for his community work, including accolades from former President Barack Obama, US Rep. Donald Payne Jr. and PETA, among others. He’s also earned The Diana Award, one of the highest honors a young person can achieve for humanitarian action in the United Kingdom. ReadMore: Newark Teen Is ‘Hero To Animals’ – And It’s Thanks To Bow Ties
Recently, he has earned yet another honor, getting a nod alongside 99 of his peers as part of the 2022 Global Child Prodigy Awards. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help Brown raise the money to attend an award ceremony in Dubai. Learn more or make a donation here.
Patch recently spoke with Brown, who confirmed that there’s a grim side to his inspirational deeds.
“The sad reality is some shelters are overcrowded,” he said. “Millions of dogs and cats enter shelters every year. There are many reasons for this. Some dogs and cats have been abandoned, surrendered by their owners, some are lost, and some were already homeless and found on the street.”
“Another problem is overpopulation,” Brown continued. “When dogs and cats reproduce, they can have up to 12 puppies or kittens at a time. Many of them end up in shelters, and some never find homes at all. That’s why it’s so important for owners to spay and neuter their pets. “
Brown said he loves animals – especially dogs and cats – so it’s “gut-wrenching” to know that so many of them are homeless.
“The saddest part about all of this is at some shelters, dogs and cats can get euthanized just because they don’t find a home,” he said.
“Another sad thing I realize is that dogs’ and cats’ lives are not valued the same as humans’ lives by a lot of people,” Brown said. “I believe that you have a lot to do with people being uneducated and unaware – and some people are just cruel.”
But in spite of all of this, Brown has continued to find inspiration and hope for a better world. When asked how he stays positive despite the sad things he’s seen, here’s what he told Patch:
“My inspiration comes from wanting to continue being a voice for the voiceless. Even with making something as small as a bow tie, it has made a huge impact on the lives of shelter pets and their owners. I want to continue helping as many dogs.” , cats and shelters as I can. I want to help educate others and continue bringing awareness to shelter pets and the importance of adoption. They need us. They need more of us. Over time it has really become difficult because you know you can’ t help them all right then and there and you want to.When I go to a shelter I always get attached.That’s the hardest part, knowing you will leave the shelter without a dog or cat and knowing they will be there another day for sure But I stay positive by continuing to do my part and focusing on the goal in helping them find homes and inspiring others to get involved.It may not always be happy times, because it is sad to know these pets are homeless, but I love what I do. I would never let them down. The staff f at the shelters love the bow ties and they rave about how great the bow ties look and how much they help the dogs and cats during adoption events and photoshoots. The best part is when I get updates about a dog or cat that I made a bow tie for that was adopted. I love to hear those stories. The staff at the shelters take good care of them and they work very hard, but it makes me feel really good inside to know that I did my part in helping them find a forever home.”
Learn more about Brown and his efforts at his website.
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