4Legz All Natural Dog Treats is a Deaf-led business known for its allergy-friendly ingredients and for becoming the first line of dog treats to receive 100% non-GMO recognition. The healthy pet brand, founded by Deaf entrepreneur Cynthia Murray, offers a wide variety of human-grade dog treats made with every dog’s health in mind.
“Pets are such an important part of a person’s life,” explains Cynthia. “They deserve to be rewarded with high-end and healthy treats. We spent years perfecting a menu of cookies that pets love and are safe for them to eat.”
Cynthia and her partner founded 4Legz All Natural Dog Treats in 2004. They were inspired to develop all-natural dog treats after adopting Cynthia’s service dog, Odie. Odie had severe food allergies, so Cynthia couldn’t find any treats to reward his behavior without putting his life in danger. As any true animal lover would, Cynthia took matters into her own hands. “Odie needed someone to care for his special diet needs, as much as I needed him to be my ears,” she explained.
Cynthia started testing dozens of recipes. Along the way, she realized Odie wasn’t the only dog who couldn’t enjoy the average treats available in most stores. After 21 years working in Special Education, Cynthia decided she was ready for a new challenge. That challenge was starting a new business: 4Legz All Natural Dog Treats.
4Legz has grown tremendously over the past several years. The company offers direct-to-consumer packages, provides products and support for organizations like dog rescues, and works with a variety of brands to develop private labeling. Dog-lovers can find 4Legz products on big sites like Chewy.com and Amazon. You can also buy directly from the 4Legz website or use its “Find Us” page to locate its products in a store near you.
“While working in education for over 20 years it was clear that job opportunities for my Deaf and disabled students just weren’t there,” said Cynthia. “When we were finally able to start hiring 4Legz employees, it was important for us to create those missing opportunities. Through our connections in the local community, we’ve given countless individuals the experience they needed to get jobs in fields they are passionate about.”
Along with its allergy-friendly products, 4Legz prioritizes social good. The company has partnerships with Morningside, an organization that works to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities, local schools in Washington that offer one-on-one job training, and employment opportunities for young professionals. Learn more about the program Cynthia and her partner established to create work experience opportunities for teens with disabilities on 4Legz’s website.
Cynthia’s efforts to give back to her community through her entrepreneurial success is a major reason why CSD Social Venture Fund entered a partnership with 4Legz in 2021. CSD Social Venture Fund (CSD SVF), was founded by Communication Service for the Deaf in 2017. CSD SVF is the first-ever social impact fund developed specifically to invest in Deaf-owned businesses in the United States.
CSD SVF’s mission aligns with Cynthia’s. Both organizations are addressing gaps in employment and financial independence by supporting Deaf-owned and led businesses, expanding job opportunities, enriching the Deaf ecosystem, and ensuring positive Deaf representation.
“A partnership between CSD Social Venture Fund and 4Legz All Natural Dog Treats is a wonderful opportunity that will have a widespread impact,” said Rosa Lee Timm, President of CSD SVF. “In addition to having an in-demand and unique product, Cynthia’s business model expands job opportunities for Deaf, hard of hearing, and Disabled people. She helps build and uplift the community around her, serving as a tremendous example of Deaf representation, all while growing a successful business in a competitive market.”
CSD Social Venture Fund has an open funding cycle, meaning we are always accepting applications for funding. We seek applications from Deaf-business owners whose business is scalable and inspires widespread impact on Deaf communities. Learn more about our existing portfolio and partnering with CSD SVF to see if this opportunity is right for you.