CAPE CHARLES, VA – Over the years, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) toll collectors have taken pride in providing the traveling public and their canine pets with dog treats, so much so that they would buy the biscuits with their own money. Of course, in more recent times, caution has had to be exercised and the friendly gesture even temporarily discontinued as a result of the “scare” with contaminated dog biscuits.

In the summer of 2007, an employee of the CBBT met Inge Veneziano, owner and founder of Howl Naturale, a minority-owned business that specializes in all-natural pet treats for dogs, cats and horses.

In 1983, Inge was involved in a car accident and suffered a neck fracture that has that left her with a disability. Forcing her to give up a career of more than 20 years as a nurse, she joined a group that she calls the “ably disabled,” and upon the request of a friend that was looking for a “pet friendly” product to sell in her retail business, Howl Naturale was born in 2001. It began with the creation of all natural dog treats, available in three flavors: mint & parsley, peanut butter, and garlic & cheese. The dog biscuits are all hand-cut and baked, just like you would your own favorite cookies. All ingredients are human grade with no preservatives, coloring or other non-natural ingredients, thus helping to keep pets as healthy as possible.

The pet treats, first available on Chincoteague Island, quickly grew in popularity and also sparked the creation of specialty treats for cats as well as horses. These healthy treats have been endorsed by a local veterinarian and have also been awarded “Virginia’s Finest” by the Virginia Department of Agriculture in 2004. As the business grows, Inge hopes to hire other ably-disabled employees to assist in her efforts.

The CBBT toll collectors dispersed approximately 1,000 pounds of dog biscuits in 2007. The pilot project with Howl Naturale began in the fall of 2007 as Inge developed a seagull pet treat for the CBBT. The first 50 pounds of peanut-butter seagulls were delivered in December 2007. Made from whole wheat flour, peanut butter and 2% milk, these “seagulls” are being very well received by our canine travelers.

For more information regarding the specialty dog biscuits, contact the CBBT at (757) 331-2960 or click here.