Apparel Company Makes a Difference for Animals While Making a Profit

Have you ever watched those television commercials with sad-looking dogs, and you have to change the channel because you can’t bear it? Do you wonder, what can I do to make that dog’s sad eyes turn happy?

If so, you’re not alone. That’s why Joshua Pletscher, together with Alison Beckmann and Siera Smith, founded Higher Paws, a pet-lover apparel company driven to improve the quality of life for dogs, cats, and animals of all kinds in the Greater Philadelphia area.

“We’re all life-long pet owners and animal lovers. We love our own companions so much, it pained us to know that there were other dogs and cats out there not receiving the same love – nonetheless shelter and sustenance,” said Pletscher, co-founder of Higher Paws.

Higher Paws will fulfill its mission in two ways: 1) Sell pet-lover themed apparel to embrace and grow the pet-lover culture; and 2) Donate proceeds to support the missions of community nonprofits committed to helping animals.

The pet-lover apparel includes tank-tops, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts, for men, women, kids, and babies. Apparel designs include phrases like “Wine and Whiskers”, “Buy Pizza. Not Puppies”, and “Adopt. Don’t Shop”.

Based in the Philadelphia area, Higher Paws gives a nod to its roots with its “LOVE Line”. The line includes the famous Philadelphia LOVE Park sculpture design replaced with “DOGS” and “CATS”.

Higher Paws is launching with two community nonprofit partners, Street Tails Animal Rescue (STAR) and Kitty Cottage.

STAR, located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood in Philadelphia, was founded by Lindsay Confefer in 2001. She started her efforts under the roof of her pet boutique, The Chic Petique, by rescuing one dog at a time. In 2010, she acquired a location dedicated to saving animals and capable of rescuing nine dogs at a time. The shelter takes in animals – mostly dogs – only from Animal Control and finds adoption parents generally in 1-4 weeks.

Kitty Cottage, a no-kill, cage-free shelter located in Norristown, PA, has been saving cats and kittens since 2002. The cottage shelters cats, ensures their health, and facilitates adoptions. By allowing potential adopters to interact with the cats in a natural, cage-free, environment, the pair can better gauge the intuitive relationship they plan to build at home. Kitty Cottage save more than 3,000 cats since 2002 and houses between 20 and 40 cats as space permits.

During Higher Paws’s pre-launch, the foundation raised more than $200 in donations to both shelters.

“The more money we can donate, the more our mission will be fulfilled,” said Beckmann, co-founder.

Going forward, Higher Paws plans to support more nonprofits focused on helping animals. It also plans to offer new designs, and expand its apparel to hats, dog and cat clothing, and accessories.

To learn more about Higher Paws or buy its pet-lover apparel, visit 
To learn more about STAR, visit 
To learn more about Kitty Cottage, visit