Rescue dog inspires pet supplement
Lenny, a French bulldog, once sat in a small wired cage.
He was fed only rotten corn and was hours away from being sold to a meat truck in China, a country where they don’t have the same animal protection laws as the U.S.
His life changed when Oliver and Jody Barton rescued him and nursed him back to health in Santa Barbara.
Their lives changed, too, when the couple — he owns a technology firm and she is in the music industry — created Lenny’s, a nutrient-rich, 100% plant-based pet supplement that is sprinkled on top of pet food.
Lenny’s is free of corn, wheat, soy and gluten. The recipes use cruelty-free and vegan ingredients.
“Lenny’s is easily accessible, affordable and simple to add to every meal,” Mr. Barton told the News-Press by phone from their home on the Riviera.
Lenny’s, which comes in jars, launched last October with three flavors — bacon, chicken and fish. Each is named Function, Prosper and Revive, respectively, and on the labels are clever phrases like “All bark and no bacon,” “No feathers plucked” and “Catch of the day.”
They can be purchased only at www.belikelenny.com for $16.99 each or $49.99 for all three with free shipping.
The Bartons have three other dogs — Odie, 15; Olive, 10, and Cash, 2.
“They are our beloved fur family, who sleep in our beds, join in our workouts and Zoom video meetings, and travel everywhere with us,” said Mr. Barton.
Which is why Nikki Carvey, founder of Road Dogs & Rescue in Lomita, knew exactly who to call when she heard about Lenny and 29 other dogs needing to be rescued in Harbin, China, in September 2019.
“Jody and I adopted Cash from Road Dogs and were volunteers there when we lived in Newport Beach,” said Mr. Barton. ”Road Dogs rescues bulldog breeds, and their primary focus is on complicated medical dogs, seniors and special needs puppies. They are the most likely to be euthanized and are often dumped at shelters and veterinary clinics.
“When the time finally came for Lenny to arrive in our arms in January 2020 and meet the rest of our thriving pack, we realized he was so malnourished, skinny and weak that he needed more than a healthy diet.”
The couple struggled to find a product that they could trust for Lenny’s recovery.
“He needed plant-based supplements, so we began to do research and shop around for ingredients from various sources, which was time consuming and expensive,” said Mr. Barton. “We decided to create our own formula, and there was improvement within two weeks. He had more energy to walk, and he began to play with the other dogs. He no longer had bad breath. Our veterinarian commented on how healthy he had become considering his circumstances before he came to live with us.”
Mr. Barton noted that in July 2020 they had a foster dog who had been surrendered to Road Dogs and Rescue from a breeder.
“One of four major surgeries she needed was an ear canal ablation and would need six to eight weeks to recover and go up for adoption. Adding Lenny’s superfood topper to her meals increased her rate of recovery in half of the time, and we managed to get her adopted within three weeks of her surgeries.”
Because of Lenny’s impressive recovery, the Bartons decided that they wanted to help all other pets feel healthier, too, so proceeds from every shaker purchased will go to rescue environments where nutrition is an essential source of rehabilitation in the U.S.
“We’re believers that supplements essential to our pets’ modern lifestyles should be accessible and affordable to every pet parent,” Mr. Barton said. “Our ethos is that what we feed our pets should not only taste and do good but not harm or sacrifice a defenseless animal.”