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How a Skate Business Came to the Aid of Shelter Animals

This story appears in the April 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The inspiration struck in early 2011, as surf and skate enthusiast David Hendrickson was paddling around on his longboard with his dog, William, adopted three years earlier from an animal shelter in Orange County, Calif. During the adoption process, Hendrickson was told the pup--whose mother was poisoned by cleaning supplies while pregnant--had only a month to live.

William survived, but at a cost: Hendrickson ended up dropping out of college to work three jobs in order to pay $20,000 in veterinary bills. It was during this rough patch that he had his on-board epiphany. "I was just holding [William] out in the water, and I realized I wanted to take my passion for art and design, longboarding and helping animals and combine them," he says.

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