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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 11 Years & 61,000+ Blankets ~

august 2018 CRITTER NEWS!

This summer in the Chicago area has been hot, humid, and very typical! I'd like to extend a big "thank you" to all the volunteers, across the US that have been knitting, crocheting, tying, sewing and quilting, despite the high temperatures! The animal shelters are air conditioned, so the pets just love a comfy blanket, even in the heat of the summer!

We were able to comfort almost 1,400 pets in July, thanks to the 100+ volunteers that stepped up to help. We couldn't do it without each and every one of you!

I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter, which has lots of ideas, thank you's and even a free way to check out some cool new music. Enjoy!

Blessings to you and yours,

Linda

Summer fun: Under the dome knit in!

                        

The McLean County Museum of History, located in Bloomington, IL, brought crafters together this summer to help their local humane society. These gorgeous blankets (pictured above) were made by local knitters and crocheters, who participated in the "Under the Dome Knit In" program at the museum.

They created 62 blankets in total, in all shapes, sizes and patterns! Candace, the Director of Education at the museum, delivered all the blankets to the Humane Society of Central Illinois in Normal, IL. She reports, "the staff at the front desk were thrilled when I walked in the door with a cart loaded with blankets of all shapes and sizes!" She even captured a couple of shelter workers gratefully receiving the blankets (photo at right).  

Candace also shared with me that many of the participants in the "Under the Dome" program and organizers have adopted pets from local shelters and rescue groups. "We are glad to give back to those pets waiting for their furever homes too!" she adds.

This program donates to a rotating list of charities, but Candace promises that CFC will be included in the rotation. We look forward to the McLean County Museum of History, and their local supporters, helping our mission again!

Hidden Danger of Onions!

Onions are a favorite food through the summer, and onion products (onion salt, minced onion, etc.) are found in many of the foods we eat. For this reason it’s important to know that onions can be a danger to your cat or dog. Many of us have heard about chocolate being poisonous for dogs, and poinsettias a problem for cats, but onions?

Onions contain chemicals that are toxic to both cats and dogs.  All types of onions are dangerous, including cooked, raw, dried, minced and even onion powder.  When pets ingest onions, they cause damage to their red blood cells, resulting in “Hemolytic  Anemia”. In actuality, the onion toxin causes the red blood cells to burst, leading to lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting. Since the reaction occurs in the bloodstream, it can take two to four days for the symptoms to appear. Obviously this makes it much trickier to diagnose.  

If you think your pet has ingested an onion product, and they show any of these signs, it’s important that you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. For this, and other reasons, it’s a great idea to have easy access to your veterinarian’s phone number, but to also keep the address and phone number of an emergency veterinary center handy.

The easiest way to avoid this issue altogether is to resist the temptation to feed your cat or dog table scraps. Minced onion and onion powder are ingredients in a wide variety of foods, some of which you may find surprising. There are many reasons veterinarians discourage pets from eating “people food”, so consider “hidden onions” to be just one more reason. Your pet will thank you with a long and happy life!

Your Beautiful Creations!

Shelters Who Received Our Blankets in july

ADOPT - Naperville, IL

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Almost Home - Elk Grove Village, IL

Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL

Animal Care Services - San Antonio, TX

Animal Protective League - Springfield, IL

ARF-IL - Lisle, IL

Ashland Animal Rescue Fund - Ashland, KY

Beverly Animal Shelter - Waterloo, NY

Blessed Bonds - Palos Park, IL

Buddy Foundation - Arlington Heights, IL

Carson Shelter - LA County - Gardena, CA

Catnap from the Heart - LaGrange Park, IL

Chicago Animal Care & Control - Chicago, IL

Collin County Animal Services - McKinney, TX

Dakota's Dream Animal Rescue - Winchester, VA

Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI

Dharma Rescue - Torrance, CA

DuPage County Animal Control Shelter - Wheaton, IL

East Providence Animal Control Shelter - East Providence, RI

Front Street Animal Shelter - Sacramento, CA

Gold Retriever Rescue of the Rockies - Arvada, CO

GRACE Animal Rescue - El Segundo, CA

Hinsdale Humane Society - Hinsdale, IL

Humane Society of Central Illinois - Normal, IL

Humane Society of Delaware County - Delaware, OH

Humane Society of Greater Nashua - Nashua, NH

Humane Society of Hancock County - Findlay, OH

Humane Society of Harrisburg Area - Harrisburg, PA

Just Animals Shelter - Mazon, IL

Kindred Kitties- Kenosha, WI

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society - Harbor Springs, MI

Little Victories - Ona, WV

Livingston County Humane Society - Pontiac, IL

Marion County Animal Services - Ocala, FL

Missy's Haven Canine Rescue - San Antonio, TX

Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

New Hampshire SPCA - Stratham, NH

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

North Texas Cat Rescue - McKinney, TX

PAWS Chicago - Chicago, IL

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Porter County Animal Shelter - Valparaiso, IN

Quincy Animal Shelter - Quincy, WA

Red River SPCA - Whitesboro, TX

Ross County Humane Society - Chillicothe, OH

Second Chance Pet Adoptions - Raleigh, NC

Sioux Empire Humane Society - Sioux Falls, SD

SPCA of Upstate New York - Queensbury, NY

Stevens-Swan Humane Society - Utica, NY

Tails Adoptions - Delta, CO

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL

Will County Humane Society - Shorewood, IL

Wisconsin Humane Society / Racine Campus - Racine, WI

WOW / Johnson County Animal Shelter - Staffordsville, KY

Young at Heart Pet Rescue - Lake Zurich, IL

 For a complete list of shelters we support ... Click here!

Pets you are helping!

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

We are now donating over 1,000 blankets regularly every month,which is awesome! It's also A LOT of blankets to filter in and out of my house every month (not to mention all the fleece and yarn donations that go in, and back out!).

With this in mind, please consider donating your blankets directly to a shelter near you. This is especially helpful if you're out of state. Often I receive a box of blankets (with $25 of postage on it!) and I need to turn around and ship it back out (for another $25!), sometimes to the same state it came from!

I can help you find a shelter near you, and will do all the work getting them signed up. If you choose a shelter from our website list, I can promise you that in-state shipping will be less costly than sending them to me!

Benefits of donating your blankets locally and directly:

  • Cheaper than shipping them to Illinois (if you're out of state)!
  • You can ask for a tax receipt and possibly write off the donation (please check with your tax professional).
  • If you personally drop them off, you get to see all those little faces saying "thank you!"
  • You'll also get to see how much the staff appreciates the blankets!

If this doesn't work for you PLEASE continue to send me your blankets, and I will happily ship them out!  Thank you!

Shelter Thank You's...

"We just received our first box of blankets today! Thank you so much to your organization and volunteers! The blankets are wonderful and our cats are already enjoying them!" ~ Asheville Humane Society

"Thank you for your recent donation of handcrafted blankets to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society. It is only through the generosity of our community that we are able to shelter more than 3,000 animals each year. Thank you for helping us continue our mission." ~ Stevens-Swan Humane Society

"Thank you so much for the donation of handmade fleece and crocheted cat beds. We truly appreciate the kindness and generosity of Comfort for Critters to include us. The generosity and support of people like you is what keeps this organization alive and allows us to continue our work. Animals are the heart of our mission!" ~  Friends for Animal of Metro Detroit

"Your Comfort for Critters care package was at our front door when I returned. What a lovely, welcomed collection! The toys provide fun for our dogs and cats. And the blankets are as durable as they are colorful and pretty. Almost every day is wash-day here, and includes an assorted load of Comfort for Critters blankets. Both types are practically indestructible. Thank you!" ~ Red River SPCA

"On behalf of all of us at the Animal Welfare League, I want to thank you for our recently received blanket donation. I thank you for your gift and commitment to assist the League in caring for those animals that need our help the most." ~ Animal Welfare League

Some special thank you's ... to you!

         

"Here are pictures of our cats and kittens enjoying their new blankets at HPAC (pictured above). Thank you for sharing these with the volunteers, and tell them how much we appreciate their generosity!" ~ Homeward Pet in Woodinville, WA

 

"We received the box of beautiful blankets yesterday. We decided that our little Phoenix (pictured at left) who is suffering from severe burns, got first pick at the softest one! Here she is on one of them (along with her Green Bay Packers shirt)! We have found these blankets are a huge help when the animal goes to their new home to take along their scent. Thank you so much for all the work that goes into making these babies comfortable! ~ Kenosha Forgotten Friends in Kenosha, WI

 

 

 

"Here's a picture of your blankets in use! Thank you so much for your donation!" ~ Rover Rescue in North Aurora, IL

Music for Critters!

I'm excited to announce that Michel Goguen, and artist featured on Open Strum, is including CFC in an exciting new fundraiser! Appropriately called "Music for Critters", it brings together over 25 different artists, all working to provide free music to those of us who help make the world a better place for pets.

Simply donate either supplies (like blankets!) or money to an animal shelter, rescue group or animal-related NPO (like CFC!), and then send a message to Michel using this contact form. He will send you 25 songs by some of his favorite musicians as a gift! This fundraiser ends September 30th, so don't wait to get your free music!

Michel Goguen is a multi-instrumentalist and singer songwriter from Moncton, Canada. You can check out his music here!

Shipping Funds Always Needed...

We now have some new ways to help us ship the 1,000+ blankets we donate to shelters each and every month. Visit Amazon or Etsy to purchase one of our inexpensive "Remnants Reborn" blankets created by Linda, CFC's founder, using only remnant yarn after making shelter blankets. You'll be sponsoring a big box of 20 blankets, which will be shipped to a shelter outside of Illinois!

If you're a fiber-artist yourself, you may prefer to purchase a pair of our "Comfort Paws" earrings, also created by Linda. They're under $10 and with the proceeds we can support a local Illinois shelter with our blankets!

             

Each item comes with the above card, to explain how it's helping homeless pets, so it makes a great gift!

Check out the current selection!


Together we have shipped 61,963 blankets!

july Blessings...

1,395 Blankets

57 Shelters

20 States

103 Volunteers

  • We comforted over a thousand pets in July by donating 1,395 blankets!
  • 57 different shelters, in 20 states received our blankets, and most received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible because of the 103 volunteers who helped last month. Thank you!

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Honest Abe joins the team!

"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." ~ President Abraham Lincoln

Another reason to donate directly to a shelter!

This is an example of the wonderful feedback you can receive by donating your blankets directly to a shelter. I share the thank you notes I receive, but there's nothing like getting one of these directly. This volunteer, Marilyn, has helped us for years and is a master-crocheter!!!

Hi Marilyn,

Your beautiful blankets and the canned food arrived safe and sound. You do LOVELY work! We have received crocheted items from others over the years, but yours are especially nice. They are also just the right size.

Thank you so much for thinking of the kitties at House of Dreams. I know they will find the blankets cozy and, as you say, a familiar item when they go to their forever homes. We so appreciate special folks, like you and the others that craft for Comfort for Critters, who help support shelters and their residents!

Thanks again,

Deborah at House of Dreams

Sharing an idea...

Karen, a CFC volunteer, donates her blankets directly to a shelter in her state of Maryland. When she's ready to drop off blankets, she checks the shelter's "wish list" and often adds items like food or bedding. That's a great idea, perfect for sharing. Thank you Karen! 

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What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

  • "I just got back to knitting and this combines my love of knitting with love of animals. I hope the blankets will keep them cozy while waiting for families. This is a wonderful organization - great idea!" ~ Pamela K. in New York, NY
  • "We've always been animal lovers our entire lives and have treated our cats and dogs like furry kids, but not every animal is so fortunate. Upon learning of CFC and all this organization does, I want to do what I can to help any animal that I can't personally offer a home to. Blankets will give some cat or dog or other animal something a little more comfortable to sleep on, than the hard ground or floor. Every animal should have something that soothes and comforts them. Thank you CFC for all the organizing, shipping, record keeping, and everything else you do.~ Denise T. in Winston, GA
  • "I like to crochet, but people don't want crocheted baby blankets any more. I looked up your site and was hooked. Knowing that each blanket will go with each adopted animal was the clincher. I think the blankets will help since it will be theirs, it will be familiar and comfortable for them to lay on, to cuddle with!"     ~ Cindy B. in Dixon, IL
  • "These precious animals depend on us humans to take care of them and make sure their lives are the best it can be. If we can help an animal, why wouldn't we? I think the blankets will provide comfort and help them transition from rescue to new home. I will do this until I can't do it anymore. It's very important to me!" ~ Jamie H. in Largo, FL

A few friendly reminders...

Once you have some blankets made, please check our "Shelters Supported" page to find a shelter near you (or at least one in your state). Feel free to ship your blankets directly to them, or drop them off. The shelters do not notify me when they receive blankets, so please let me know via our website form or in an email. 


  Don’t forget to leave your name and address on the blankets or materials you drop-off at CFC headquarters in Glen Ellyn, IL so that I can send a thank you note!


  Remember that we are all juggling CFC, jobs, pets and kids! We do reply to every inquiry, but it may take a day or two. Thanks for your patience!

3 South 139 Sequoia Drive

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski, Founder  info@Comfortforcritters.org