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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 12 Years & 78,000+ Blankets ~

May 2019 CRITTER NEWS ~ kitten season is here!

I'd like to wish an early "Happy Mother's Day" to all the parents, and pet-parents! Whether your "kids" have two legs or four, we all care for them, worry about them and craft blankets for them. Bless you for ALL you do to enhance their life! I hope your own Mother's Day is filled with everything that makes you smile!

We are sure making many shelters "smile" since we've been donating well over 1,500 free blankets, each and every month. In April we donated 1,750 blankets to cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits in shelters. That doesn't even count the hundreds and hundreds of toys our volunteers make and donate as well. Thank you everyone!

As more and more volunteers send their blankets directly to their local shelter, please be sure you're donating them to a group that is part of our program. All participating shelters are on our website list, which is updated at least every week. These shelters have indicated that they do need blankets, are open to receiving "yarn" blankets (knit and crocheted) and have committed to sending the blankets home with the pets when they are adopted. Not all shelters meet these criteria.

If you know of a great shelter near you, which you'd like included in our program, please send me an e-mail at info@ComfortForCritters.org, and I'll reach out to them. It sometimes takes a few tries and a few weeks, but I will follow up with them and keep you posted along the way. Thank you so much!

       With gratitude for you,

    Linda

Your Beautiful Creations!

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10 Amazing Butterfly Facts for Spring!

Nothing compares to strolling through a garden and seeing a butterfly land on a nearby flower. It’s an almost magical feeling of watching nature unfold. Or maybe it's just me? These beautiful flying creatures remind us that not all insects need to be squashed underfoot. Really no insect should meet this fate (if avoidable), but I’ll concede the point, that it probably IS just me.

Butterflies are also quite valuable to the environment and astounding in many ways. So much beauty and brilliance packed into these floating works of art. What a Creator we have to imagine such a thing! These ten amazing facts about butterflies may just help you see even more beauty in them, as they flit by.

1 – What Variety! - There are roughly 20,000 species of butterflies in the world. In most parts of the U.S., you’ll find at least 100 different species! They only live about a month, so stop and appreciate them whenever they are near.

2 – Voracious & Totally Gross Eaters – While it’s awesome to see a butterfly happily sip nectar from flowers through their straw-like tongue, some species will take a stronger stomach to watch. These butterflies never visit flowers but dine on tree sap, rotting fruit, animal dung and decaying animals. Some even have cravings for mud, human sweat (which is probably why they land on you) and urine (including their own). Since they “taste” using tiny receptors in their feet, it’s no wonder they are not always picky about what they consume.

3 – Sun Worshippers They actually need the warmth of the sun, in order to fly. They are cold-blooded, so they can only fly if their body temperature is over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Below that, they will simply drop to the ground!

4 – Touching’s Okay – Contrary to what many people think, it’s okay to touch a butterfly. You may come away with a bit of their color on you, but they are completely unharmed. The color which rubs off is actually tiny scales. Yes, scales. Butterflies have two pairs of large wings, all covered in iridescent scales, too small to easily see. If all the scales were removed, the butterfly would simply be left with a transparent membrane.

5 – They’re Survivors – They can withstand harsh rain and even freezing temperatures. Butterflies will hide-out on the underside of a leaf, between rocks, or crawl down among blades of grass to avoid storms and to sleep at night. Many types of butterflies can survive even cold winter climates, but at least one stage in their life cycle must be resistant to freezing. Typically they survive the winter as either caterpillars or pupas, safely tucked away. Some even have tricky ways to avoid predators. The Mourning Cloak butterfly will actually “play dead” in order to avoid detection.

6 – First Aid Works – If you find an injured butterfly, you can help nurture it back to health! Usually by letting it rest, and feeding it the right solution, it will happily fly away once it has recovered. The simplest solution is just a teaspoon of sugar, mixed into 10 teaspoons of room temperature water (try not to use tap water, due to the chemicals it contains).

7 – Super-Cool Features – Butterflies may only be able to see red, green and yellow, but they make up for it by seeing ultraviolet light, which humans cannot. In addition, their bodies are covered in small sensory hairs, which they use to explore their environment. These hairs also gather wind information as they fly at speeds anywhere from 5 to 30 miles per hour.

8 – They Make Great Pets - Caterpillars can be wonderful pets, with many “kits” on the market to house and care for them. As they move through their stages, emerging as butterflies in the end, they can be released into the wild. Butterflies can also be kept as pets, but all their special needs should be met. This includes the proper nutrition and plenty of space to fly!

9 – Great Travelers – The beautiful Monarch butterflies are known for their long migration. They can travel up to 2,000 miles, flying from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico. They lay their eggs and a new generation of monarchs will travel back in the spring.

10 – They’re Important! Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators, next to bees. With the decline in the bee population, they have become even more important to our food chain. Their largest threat is the disappearance of their natural habitat, which is thankfully something we can all do something about. There are many wonderful trees, bushes, flowers and vegetable plants which will bring butterflies to your yard and give them a habitat for survival.   

They’re amazing, they’re important and they’re flying by, ready to enjoy. Spread the word on their importance to the environment and leave out a saucer of sugar-water to see who lands for a quick slurp!

a special thank you....

 "I just wanted to thank you for the recent donation of cat blankets. Our kitties love to snuggle on them while at the shelter. Once one of our cats are adopted, we send their blanket home with them so they can have something with a familiar scent to help them adjust to their new environment. Thanks so much for all of the work your group does!"   

~ Animal Protective Association of Missouri in St. Louis ~

Shelters who received our blankets in april

ADOPT - Naperville, IL

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Angela's Angels Kitty Rescue - Ironton, OH

Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL

Animal Care Services - San Antonio, TX

ARF - Lisle, IL

Arizona Humane Society - Phoenix, AZ

Aurora Animal Control Shelter - Aurora, IL

Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care - Baltimore, MD

Boonville Animal Shelter - Boonville, MO

Brampton Animal Services - Brampton, Ontario

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue - Asheville, NC

Bucks County SPCA - Lahaska, PA

Buddy Foundation - Arlington Heights, IL

Cat Care Society - Lakewood, CO

Cat Guardians - Lombard, IL

Catman2 - Cullowhee, NC

Catnap from the Heart - LaGrange Park, IL

Cat Welfare Advocates - San Jose, CA

Chenango SPCA - Norwich, NY

Chicago Animal Care & Control - Chicago, IL

Cocheco Valley Humane Society - Dover, NH

Collin County Animal Shelter -  Plano, TX

Columbia County Humane Society - Portage, WI

Connecticut Humane Society - Newington, CT

Cumberland Valley Humane Society - Chambersburg, PA

Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI

DAWS - Danbury, CT

DuPage County Animal Control Shelter - Wheaton, IL

East Providence Animal Control Shelter - East Providence, RI

Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary - Salisbury, NC

Fat Cat Rescue - North Chicago, IL

Fox Valley Animal Welfare League - North Aurora, IL

Friends of Felines - Stamford, CT

Gladstone Animal Shelter - Gladstone, MO

Glynn County Animal Control - Brunswick, GA

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies - Arvada, CO

Good Mews Animal Foundation - Marietta, GA

Greenhill Humane Society - Eugene, OR

Headwaters Animal Shelter - Park Rapids, MN

Hillside SPCA - Pottsville, PA

Hopeful Tails - Joliet, IL

House Rabbit Society of Chicago - Westchester, IL

Humane Haven - Bolingbrook, IL

Humane Society of Harrisburg Area - Harrisburg, PA

Humane Society of Polk County - Crookston, MN

Humane Society of Sarasota - Sarasota, FL

Humane Society of Utah - Murray, UT

Humane Society of Ventura County - Ojai, CA

Kindred Kitties - Kenosha, WI

King Street Cats - Alexandria, VA

Kitty City Cat Rescue - Macon, GA

Last Hope - Farmington, MN

Marion County Animal Services - Ocala, FL

Mary's Kitty Korner - Granby, CT

Multnomah Animal Shelter - Troutdale, OR

Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

Nebraska Humane Society - Omaha, NE

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

Operation Kindness - Carrollton, TX

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Paws & Whiskers Cat Shelter - Toledo, OH

Pennsylvania Humane Society - Philadelphia, PA

Pet Tails Rescue - Northwood, NH

Prairie Paws Rescue - Jamestown, ND

Pulaski County Humane Society - Somerset, KY

(The) Scratching Post - Cincinnati, OH

St. Johns County Pet Center - St. Augustine, FL

Tails Adoptions - Delta, CO

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

Treasured Animal Rescue - Aurora, IL

Valley Humane Society - Pleasanton, CA

Wadena County Humane Society - Wadena, MN

Wags 2 Wishes Animal Rescue - Plainfield, IL

West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL

Whiskers or Wags (WOW) - Staffordsville, KY

Will County Humane Society - Shorewood, IL

Wisconsin Humane Society / Green Bay Campus - Green Bay, WI

Wright-Way Rescue - Morton Grove, IL

Young at Heart Pet Rescue - Lake Zurich, IL

For a complete list of shelters we support - click here!

Pets you are helping!

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Our mission goes international (again)

As volunteers send me emails, detailing the blankets they’ve dropped off at my home or at their local shelter, I enjoy seeing just how far and wide our mission is expanding. So I was a bit taken back when a recent email told of four blankets donated to homeless pets in Cotacachi, Ecuador by Cynthia C.

Cynthia lives in Ecuador, but was given our website address by a friend who lives in the US. She loved the generosity of our organization and shares, “I might never have thought of doing this if I hadn’t seen what you do.” She supports a local shelter in her area, called Amici Cannis, by supplying them with blankets to comfort their homeless dogs.

Amici Cannis is a small grass-roots organization, founded in 2011 by ex-pats and Ecuadorians concerned about the increasing number of street dogs in the area.  They were formed to care for the dogs already on the streets, try to prevent more unwanted litters, and to increase awareness of the value of spaying and neutering pets.

They were given a huge boost in 2014, when a veterinarian from Colorado (see picture) visited the village and fell in love with the people and the idea of caring for these dogs. With their help, the first shelter/clinic of its kind in Cotacachi was opened, which now houses over 90 animals!

Cynthia says this shelter keeps as many as possible at their clinic until they can find them homes, or they find foster-care arrangements. She loves to support their work and their dogs. “Any little bit of warmth and love they can get is well worth the effort and yarn,” says Cynthia!

So as you share our social media posts, make blankets for your local shelter or even wear one of our t-shirts, know that you are planting lots of “seeds” about caring for homeless pets. You may not see these seeds take root right away, but sprout they will. And where they do, pets and people will be blessed!

more Shelter "thank you's" . . .

  • "What a beautiful and useful donation your group sent to the pets in the care of our little shelter. Your blankets are loved by all the animals! It's like they feel the love that went into them! Our lobby cat, Belinda, chose her favorite as we unpacked them and she has hardly left it since! Thank you for what you do to comfort critters all over the United States, especially this little shelter in rural West Virginia!~ Jackson County Animal Shelter - Cottageville, WV

  • "We wanted to say 'thank you' for always being there for the animals (and for the Arkansas animals)! Thank you and HUGS!!!~ ARC Angels 4 Animals - Jonesboro, AR
  • "We greatly appreciate your donation of blankets and think what you do is wonderful. Thank you for your support and kindness for shelter animals!" ~ Wyandot Humane Society - Upper Sandusky, OH
  • "What a great surprise to open up your box! Thank you so much. We had a Ring Worm outbreak and had to throw away everything! The blankets came at a great time. Thank you again!" ~ Little Victories Animal Rescue -  Ona, WV

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

altWe are now donating well 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 shelter 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!

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 in your state). Feel free to ship your blankets directly to the shelter, or drop them off, and just let me know how many you donated. Don't forget to ask for a tax receipt, since many of the shelters can provide this!

  • 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 you a thank you note.

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

Help us Ship Blankets!

We rely on the generosity of animal lovers to help us donate 1,000-2,000 free blankets to animal shelters each month! All our merchandise is personally made (blankets) or designed (t-shirts) by Linda, CFC's founder.  All funds raised keep us going and keep us shipping blankets. Thank you for helping!       

Check out our blankets here!

Check out our t-shirts here!

together we have donated 76,570 blankets!

april Blessings

1,750 Blankets

80 Shelters

24 States

105 Volunteers

  • We helped so many pets in April, by donating a total of 1,750 blankets!
  • 80 different shelters, in 24 states, plus Ontario, Canada, received our blankets, and most received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible, due to the 105 volunteers and supporters who helped last month. Thank you!

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New Pattern to try!

Marianne G. of Indianapolis, IN shared with us her method for making soft, thick and comfy sewn flannel pads for shelter pets.

Click below for the pattern if you're interested in sewing, instead of knitting or crochet, some blankets. Her creations are always gorgeous - thank you Marianne!

Comfy Flannel Pet Pad

Lessons from out pets

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New crochet Pattern to try!

A big "thank you" goes to Leanne T., one of our great volunteers, for sharing this stitch with us. She worked it into a pattern and it really makes a nice thick blanket. Give it a try, since it's perfect for shelter pets! 

Click here for this crochet pattern

What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

Thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring comments, left on the website. They keep me crocheting and packing boxes, and I hope they inspire you as well...

  • "I needed community service hours, but when I came across your website, it turned into something else entirely. I absolutely love your ideas, and I am so incredibly happy to help the cause. I think that animals' feelings are often overlooked, so I am glad to help them by making these blankets. I saved my dog from a shelter, and it took her a while to feel fully comfortable in her new home, so I believe these blankets will provide comfort for these poor animals that unfortunately landed in a shelter. I never want animals to be scared." ~ Allison W. of Westford, MA
  • "These blankets are going to some of the dogs the rescue groups got from a hoarding case. So the dogs will have their own blankets to keep through the intake, vetting, and rescue process, as well as to go home with them after they are rescued." ~ Nicole M. in McAlester, OK 
  • "My husband and I are retired full-time RVers and as such travel consistently. Making blankets is a way for me to give back to our global community wherever we are. We love animals, though we don't have any presently due to our lifestyle. I think the blankets will help keep the animals warm and comforted in a strange place." ~ Gayle H. in Sioux Falls, SD
  • "I make blankets to show the animals that someone cares, and to offer a bit of comfort in an uncomfortable situation. I think the blankets will allow them to cuddle and feel warmth and a bit of security. This is such a worthy cause!"  ~ Cindy B. in Dixon, IL​
  • "We have a rescue dog that loves his blanket. He will wait patiently for us to wrap him in it! So I think the blankets will give a warm, cozy and safe feeling to the pets."  ~ Astra P-D. in Lindenhurst, IL
  • "I make blankets to keep them comfortable and warm in those cold cages. That makes me sad, but knowing I can do a little something to help and bring comfort to the shelter pets that are waiting for the perfect home, makes me feel better. This is the second time I made blankets for this shelter. This time I crocheted bigger blankets for bigger fur babies! Now they too can have a nice blanket to keep them warm when they go to their forever home. I also do this in the memory of my soulmate Jesse." ~ Donna D. in PA

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3 South 139 Sequoia Drive   Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski Founder & Owner 

info@Comfortforcritters.org