Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), announced Marsh Dog of Baton Rouge, La. as Small Business of the Week, and will be submitting it into the official Congressional Record.

“Every Louisianian understands the importance of protecting our coastline, and most are familiar with the damage that nutria can have on our vulnerable coastal habitats. One creative way the Harlan family of Baton Rouge has contributed is by using nutria meat in all-natural dog treats,” said Vitter. “The Harlans have combined their love for their canine companions with an effective means of helping our coastlines, and I certainly look forward to treating my rescue dog Ranger with a few of their custom snacks. Congratulations to Marsh Dog for being Small Business of the Week.”

Upon struggling to find all-natural foods for his dog, Hansel Harlan began toying with the idea of creating custom treats for his canine companion. With the help of his sister Veni, Harlan began developing and marketing his product. After a few trial runs and on the suggestion of his sister, Hansel included nutria rat meat into his recipe, creating an eco-consensus snack his dog immediately enjoyed. Today, Marsh Dog enjoys great success and praise from their customers and environmental groups across the state.

In 1998, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries put a bounty on the nutria rat in an effort to curb the reproduction of the invasive species, which has wreaked environment havoc on Louisiana’s vulnerable coastal habitats. Businesses across the state have invented creative ways to recycle by-products of the rodent, leading to a helpful reduction in population.

As Chairman of the SBC, Vitter continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.