Made of 80 percent recycled aluminum, Jen Cleere’s quality tags make a funny statement of your choice

By Janet Kinosian
Updated February 08, 2010 12:45 PM

“I never thought I’d be making a living out of writing ‘Scratch My Butt’ on aluminum tags,” laughs Georgia metal artist Jen Cleere. But when she looked for a dog tag back in 1999 for her then newly-rescued pooch, Ruth, she was disappointed with what she found.

All the tags Cleere saw were flimsy, thin and not-too-attractive and instinctively she knew she could do much better. So she added some custom dog tags along with her metalwork and sold them alongside her artwork at festival booths.

She created a few ID tags, put some clever and cute lines on the backside, and “soon people were standing in line, waiting to buy dog tags,” says Cleere, (who claims she was named by her parent’s Dalmatian after they put three names on a chair and let the dog choose.) “And that’s literally how Fetching Tags was born.”

The 80 percent recycled all-aluminum tags – which are made from aircraft quality aluminum – are thick and can be read from afar, no comparison to the dinky script on other metal tags that inevitably rub or wear off. These tags are to be worn loud and proud.

They rest surprisingly light on the palm and look spiffy on the canine neck and come in four shapes, all cut by hand so no two are exactly alike; circular, square, diamond and oval (as well as 4 sizes tiny, small, medium, and large) and have the animal’s name and info on the front for quick identification.

Part of the fun, though, is choosing a tagline to script on the back – anything from ‘Love Sponge,’ to ‘Big Bark, No Bite’ or you can customize your own. The tags are priced between $30 and $35.

What’s the all-time best-seller? “At first, ‘Scratch My Butt’ was the top seller and was then overtaken by ‘Wiggle Butt,’ ” says Cleere. “Now I think it’s a toss-up between ‘Free Kisses’ and ‘Rub My Belly.’ “

You’re also permitted to think out of the box with these tags, too. Cats, horses, turtles, sheep – the tags can be worn by all. Cleere once outfitted an entire herd of goats to be shown at the American Dairy Goat Association with Fetching Tags.

“We’ve done luggage tags, and this week a stuffed sheep mascot for a store and we also did an online order for two tags for neo-natal hospital carts,” says Cleere, somewhat mystified herself on the various new uses for them.

“And what I love most about all this is that my product is great; I don’t have to pump it up or fluff it up at all,” she says. “It’s just such a happy product. I get to interact with folks about their pet and that’s a joyful and happy thing. People have great love for their pets and I get to be in the midst of all that happiness and love.”

And to think, ‘Scratch My Butt’ started it all.