Mountain Xpress Press

Old dog, new tricks

by Michael Muller in Mountain Xpress Vol. 16 / Iss. 37 on 04/07/2010

If you've heard of Jack Carrier's new Web-based Asheville business, DogTagArt, you know that he sells custom-made ID tags for pets based on artwork created by more than 40 artists, many of them local. You may also know that A-B Tech's Small Business Incubator awarded Carrier a $25,000 grant last year — and that the inspiration for his business came from his 14-year-old chocolate Lab, Maggie, who has a penchant for wandering away from home.

What you may not know is that Carrier plans to introduce an innovative new feature called "V-Leash" within the next week or two. The "V," which stands for "virtual," will allow each tag to be synced with a corresponding page on the company's Web site — enabling owners to speak for their pets through pictures and words. "The idea is to facilitate the return of a lost pet by making a connection to a real family. Our pets can't talk … at least until now," notes Carrier.

Tag, your it: Maggie, a 14 year-old chocolate lab, was the inspiration for Jack Carrier's online business Carrier uses designs from local artists, including this one by Michelle Shadrick. Photo courtesy DogTagArt