Our Story

The West Paw story

 

You've found us! We're excited to share our story with you . . .

In 1996, Montana-native Spencer Williams, purchased a small pet toy company in Livingston, Montana. Growing up on a ranch a few hours away, animals had a special place in his heart - especially stray dogs and cats. So, with five full-time employees, and an impressive team of home-sewers, they set out to make the world's safest and highest quality dog and cat toys.

Four years later, the company outgrew its facility so all 15 employees packed up and headed west (about 26 miles) to Bozeman (population: 28,000). Instead of outsourcing manufacturing, which was the current trend in the 90’s, Spencer decided to invest in local talent and built a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly manufacturing facility where we still operate from today. 

B-Corp Certified

When you live and work in a place like Montana, you can’t help but be inspired by the planet’s natural beauty. This is why we incorporate sustainable practices in manufacturing and thoughtfully design our toys and beds. An example of this is our award winning and extremely durable Zogoflex® dog toys - they can all be infinitely recycled through our Join the Loop® program. It also inspired us to became co-founders of the Montana Coalition for the Outdoors and Pet Sustainability Coalition.

What’s a B Corp? We’re among the companies that aim for a more balanced “triple bottom line”—measuring our success not just by profit, but how we treat our people and planet. Certified by the non-profit B Lab, B Corps hold an above-and-beyond commitment to healthier employees, sustainable practices, transparency and accountability. Our B Corp status was earned for a variety of reasons—highlights include: 

  • Handcrafting 100% of our products in the USA
  • Manufacturing completely safe products: BPA and phthalate-free, non-toxic and FDA compliant 
  • Relying on eco-friendly materials
  • Hosting a Join the Loop® toy recycling program in the USA
  • Working from an environmentally conscious office building
  • Offering generous wages and benefits (including flexible schedules) for employees

 

Why West Paw is leading the way in Pet Manufacturing

West Paw envisions a world where business success is friendly to people and the planet.   We seek to be a transformative business leader that unleashes our people's greatest talents to create amazing pet products.  We believe that business can be a force of positive change in our world starting with the communities and people we serve.  We support this movement and hope that you'll join us on this journey.

"YOU'RE GOING TO MANUFACTURE DOG TOYS, THAT'S CUTE"

The crew at West Paw always knew they were going to do more than "manufacture dog toys," they were going to make a difference . . .

In 2016, Forbes magazine named us "One of the Best Small Companies" in America. West Paw was Montana's first Benefit Corporation and the first pet product company to become a Certified B Corp. West Paw has also been recognized as the "Best Place to Work in Montana". We currently employ 70 + employees who are continually challenged to design the world’s most eco-friendly and safest pet products.

While some things have changed, a lot remains the same. We store finished goods in re-usable banana boxes (keeping them out of the landfill and eliminating the need to buy plastic totes). The team continues to develop responsible and eco-friendly manufacturing practices in all areas of the company. We were the first pet product company to use IntelliLoft®, a recycled plastic fill and fabric in our toys and beds.

It’s been over 20 years since Spencer started the company now known as West Paw and he couldn't be happier. “Pets add so much joy to people’s lives and one of our values is to give back to them with great products. Being in Montana, and working with an amazing team of people, is not a bad way to spend my days.”

Made by US. Designed for the love of pets and the planet®.