Once upon a time, there was a dog. Her name is Ginger Pye We adopted her from the Potsdam Humane Society in Potsdam New York. She was abused as a puppy and was injured in a dog fight. Her owners were given the choice of facing a legal charge or surrendering the dogs. They chose to surrender the dogs. Now... lets turn back time about 15 years or more. Before Ginger.
I had just learned to crochet, was learning to knit, my kids were young, and needed things to occupy my time while my husband was deployed on and off with the military. I found that there were shelters in need of handmade blankets for the "critters" that inhabit the walls :) PERFECT!
A little information about the founder: "Comfort for Critters was founded by Linda Kastiel Kozlowski, after she adopted a kitten named "Anna," and wanted to do something for all the pets which she couldn't take home that day. Instead of bringing in old towels, as was suggested, she asked if she could crochet blankets for the cats and dogs, never envisioning she was starting on a road which would bring thousands of blankets into shelters across the US.
In her "spare" time she's the chief (volunteer) cook and bottle washer for Comfort for Critters. She's loves all God's creatures, from Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches to newborn kittens. She's had most of them as pets, as well! She endeavors to demonstrate that love by making blankets to comfort all the "critters" waiting to join families. She's grateful to her many volunteers for truly paving they way on the Comfort for Critters journey" http://www.comfortforcritters.org/about-us Isn't that cool?!
One of the things I most appreciate about projects like Critters for Comfort Project is that blankets for shelter animals were some of the first items I made when I first started my "fiber art" odyssey. Now having owned dogs most of my life I could quite understand the idea that the "Critters" has been trying to convey; One pet at a time. It doesn't seem so overwhelming when you think of it that way. Consider that well run animal shelters, by necessity have a bit of an industrial feel. Clean, open, a bit of a medicinal smell, busy people attending to the various animals. Ginger, our dog, was surrounded by beautiful open, modern shelter environment dotted by lovely, handmade blankets given by volunteers. In fact while we were waiting to be taken back to meet Ginger, a woman came in with a whole arm full of hand made blankets. I felt a kindred spirit to these blanket makers. Great to see that people in the community were invested in the shelter. They cared enough to bring blankets by. We saw the volunteers washing and drying the blankets so that each would be clean. Also if a person ready to adopt a pet can PICTURE the animal in a home environment surrounded by a bed or a blanket. It gives the sensation of home. Many people adopt pets from shelters for many reasons but lets face it most of us love our Critters because they are our companions. Its the little touches like blankets or brightly colored toys donated to a shelter that sometimes make the difference between an animal going home to their forever home or staying at a shelter. I know that to be true because of our personal experience with Ginger Pye. So here is a list of the supported shelters, listed by state, that will gladly accept your donation http://www.comfortforcritters.org/shelters-supported.
As some of my regular readers know Ginger Pye is my companion dog. I have a heart condition and Ginger alerts me and others when there's a problem. She's a real inbred natural gift as a companion animal and guardian. I don't get out as much as I used to, and sometimes that causes me to feel cut off from the world. Not really the best feeling. Its one of the reasons I write this blog every week, a chance to show people that they can be of benefit to people, and to the world at large. Making blankets with Comfort For Critters is a HUGE boost to the people working so hard at the shelters to make sure pets are cared for appropriately. Feeling that you've made a difference to everyone, the animals at the shelter, the people working at the shelter and even the new forever home. Each blanket goes home WITH the animal to make the transition easier. On http://www.comfortforcritters.org/volunteer-resources you will find ALL The information you need to get started and "Critters" is happy to answer questions!
I think we all know why shelters are important but I do want to say THANK YOU to the shelters who are well run and to the volunteers who work every single day to assure animals have a safe place to go. They also assure that the right people are paired up with the right pets, making absolutely sure that the pets will go to their forever home. Comfort for Critters supports all this great work with a really interesting Blog! http://www.comfortforcritters.org/blog-comfort-from-critters Because they know that without these shelters and good information, animals would go on being abused, streets would be over run with the animals left to wander, and people would have no way of meeting up with a dog like my Ginger Pye. We have a rabbit, who too, has her own blankets. She was adopted by my daughter from a farm where a gentleman rehabilitates small animals or takes them in when the owners can no longer care for them. My daughter started when she was young supporting animal shelters and shelter animals by making blankets. The staff loved to see her and her brother come in with the donations. :) Let me say that Comfort For Critters is fully worthy of support for all it does to connect people, shelters, and animals together with yards of love stitched with hope. If you would like to participate download their volunteer packet and get started!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.