Made in Indiana: Local companies team up to make dog treats

Chicken, beef treats could be added to offerings

BLOOMFIELD, Ind. - Years ago, Jon Kitto and his partner began working with rescue groups to take in troubled dogs, including one named Buck.

"They had just gotten Buck off of the table at the pound, he was going to be put down," Kitto said. "I mean, they just saved his life."

Buck was in horrible condition, so Kitto fed him the best food he could find and saw a remarkable recovery.

When he could no longer afford the highest quality, Kitto began making his own dog food.

"It's funny, because when I'd cook it, the dogs would circle in the kitchen with their noses in the air," Kitto said.

Buck is now gone, but his memory lives on in the form of Mister Buck's Genuinely Good Pet Food Company .

While the food itself is produced out of state, Kitto recently teamed up with another local business and began making dog treats in Bloomfield, Ind.

Brian Kollmeyer, who runs Bloomfield Processing , is usually busy turning out steaks, chops, hamburger and whatever else his human customers want to throw on the grill, but now he's turning out dehydrated pork liver dog treats.

The pork liver comes from hogs processed at Indiana Packers . Kollmeyer's workers cut it to size, lay it on racks and put it in the smoker to dry.

From the smoker, it's packaged for sale at supermarkets and specialty stores in seven states, including Indiana.

"I can do the product, (Kitto's) got the capability of promoting the product and the know-how to do that, so we're going to make a good team, I think," Kollmeyer said.

Kitto says the two have been researching chicken and beef treats, with an eye on expanding their offerings.

Kollmeyer has been thinking about what it will mean if he has to expand to turn out more products.

"We definitely will have to hire in order to do what we want to do with the dog treats," he said.

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