Comfort for Critters

Celebrating 15 years & 168,000+ comforted shelter pets!

166,661 blankets donated so far!

(Thank you all!)

books to help you make blankets ... and help us ship our free blankets!


Support our mission with the purchase of our pattern books: Crochet for Critters & Crochet for Your ComfortEach book has 30 crochet patterns that are perfect for pet blankets. They also tell the story of CFC and why crafting helps the crafter along with the pet! Every purchase keeps us going and keeps us shipping our free blankets!

E-books here!

Paperback "Crochet for Critters" on Amazon!

Paperback "Crochet for Your Comfort" on Amazon!

March & April blanket donations...

2,050 Blankets in March

2,338 Blankets in April

159 Shelters Total

50 States Total (+ DC!)

159 Volunteers!

  • We helped over 4,300 pets in March and April by donating a total of 4,388 blankets to shelters!
  • 159 different shelters, in 50 states (plus Washington DC) received our blankets, and many received a handful of toys as well!
  • These blessings were only possible, due to the 159 volunteers and supporters who helped. Thank you!

Did you donate blankets last month, but forgot to let us know? Tell us now!

Tell us a bit more (to share in our newsletter) ...

San Quentin Group Joins our Mission!


A project that teaches incarcerated people to crochet blankets for donation to local animal shelters is inspiring participants and keeping needy animals warm through the winter. “Crochet is a great meditative practice. It also creates a physical product that will give some comfort to a shelter animal,” said participant Steven Joyner.  (Read more here)

New pattern to try!

This pattern makes adorable toys, that kitties are just crazy for! It’s also a wonderful way to use up those little bits of yarn you may have left over, after making a blanket. Click here to download the pattern and I hope you'll give it a try!

Welcome new shelters!

I'm happy to welcome these great shelters to our program. They all love blankets of all types and are anxious to comfort their pets with our creations. If they are near where you live, work or travel to, please consider helping them out. Thanks!

  • Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia ~ Brunswick, GA 
  • K911 Rescue ~ Byron, CA 
  • Last Hope Animal Rescue ~ Wantagh, NY 
  • Lexington Humane Society ~ Lexington, KY 
  • Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter ~ Wantagh, NY 

Thank you from Project MEOW!

THANK YOU!  One of our fosters brought home one of your beautiful blankets to her senior foster cat, Frankie Hollywood. He's headed to his forever home this weekend, and we're so excited to send his blanket home with him. I also got a picture of him playing with one of the toy mice you gave us. Thanks! 

Project M.E.O.W.

(Make Every One Wanted)

Philadelphia, PA

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  • Updates on our mission
  • Pet information
  • Craft ideas & patterns
  • Animal shelter updates
  • Easy ways to help pets
  • Lots of "thank you's" for volunteers

Join Our Mailing List

spread the word & join the fun!

If you'd like to keep up to date on our mission, follow us on Facebook! We also have a Facebook Group, "The Comfort for Critters Team", where we share what we're working on, pet and craft humor, and tip & tricks for making beautiful blankets. It's a private group that stays 100% positive, 100% of the time! Please consider joining us!

just for laughs...

What do you get when you cross a pet and a calculator?

A friend you can count on!

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

We are now donating 1,500-2,000 blankets  regularly every month, which is awesome! It's also A LOT of blankets to filter in and out of my house every month

With this in mind, we're asking all out-of-state volunteers to please donate your blankets directly to a shelter right in your own state!

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. I do ask though that you let me that I can update my records!

Benefits of donating your blankets locally:

  • Cheaper than shipping them to Illinois (if you're out of state)!
  • You can email them for a tax receipt and possibly write off the donation (please check with your tax professional).​​
  • You'll also get to hear just how much the shelter staff appreciates the blankets. Thank you!!!

Have questions? Check out our new FAQ page!

Homeless pets on cfc blankets!

Once you make blankets:

  • Local volunteers are welcome to drop off their blankets to a shelter near them or to CFC's headquarters in Glen Ellyn, IL. Please leave your name and email on whatever you drop off, so that I can send a thank you note.
  • If you're outside of our area, please check our "Animal Shelters We Support" page to find a shelter in your state. Then ship your blankets directly to the shelter or drop them off. PLEASE let me know how many you donate, via email or by using our website form. If you'd like help, signing up a local shelter, please email me! 

Please be patient:

  • Keep in mind that CFC is a small organization, with just one staff member! I do reply to every email, but it may take me a few days. Thanks!

   May & June 2023            ~ Critter News ~

Kitten Season is Here!

Welcome to Spring and welcome to another Kitten Season! I'm hearing from many shelters that it has already kicked off and a busy year is expected! Thank you to all our volunteers, across the US, for continuing to craft, continuing to care and continuing to donate in their immediate area! 

I was inundated with blankets during April, so it's clear everyone is eager to stock up the shelters. However, for the first time in our 16 year history, I had to ask local volunteers to NOT drop off any more blankets at my home while I worked to get all the blankets out the door that I already had on hand. Thank you to everyone who dropped off their blankets to one of the 40 shelters in the suburbs of Chicago, instead of to me. If you found that convenient, please continue if you can!

I'm often asked if shelters even want blankets during the hot summer months. The answer is a resounding "yes." Shelters are typically air-conditioned and our blankets offer much more than just keeping a pet warm. Something soft to lay on, cuddle with and take home (with the scent of the shelter) when they are adopted are just three of the reasons pets love our blankets!

Speaking of love....Happy Mother's Day to all the pet-moms and people-moms out there. I'm convinced that the love you show the "critters" you care for, is the same love you weave into your blankets. I'm lucky to have each of you on the team. Whether you're celebrating one year volunteering for us, or ten years, as we approach our 16th anniversary on May 2nd, I wish everyone a happy anniversary as well. THANK YOU ALL!!!

With gratitude for you,


Pets you are helping!

Shelters we supported in march & april

4 Paws RescueWhitehallMT
All 4 Animals RescueMishawakaIN
Almost Home KenneyvilleIL
Anchorage Animal Care & ControlAnchorageAK
Anderson HumaneSouth ElginIL
Animal Aid for Vermilion AreaScottLA
Animal Care ServicesSan AntonioTX
Animal Friends of the ValleyWildomarCA
Animal Protection Society of DurhamDurhamNC
Animal Protective LeagueSpringfieldIL
Animal Rescue League of IowaDes MoinesIA
Animal Rescue of TracyTracyCA
Animal Welfare SocietyKennebunkMD
Arizona Humane SocietyPhoenixAZ
Asheville Humane SocietyAshevilleNC
Austin Humane SocietyAustinTX
Beaver County Humane SocietyAliquippaPA
Berkeley HumaneBerkeleyCA
Boone County Animal CareColumbiaMO
Buddy CenterCastle RockCO
Cache Humane SocietyLoganUT
Capital Humane SocietyLincolnNE
CARE - Community Animal Rescue EffortSkokieIL
Castaway CrittersHarrisburgPA
Cat AngelsCaryNC
Cat Care SocietyLakewoodCO
Cat Crew RescueOradellNJ
Cat DepotSarasotaFL
Cat PosseAltadenaCA
Catnap from the HeartLaGrange ParkIL
Charlies ArmyPhiladelphiaPA
Chicago Animal Care & ControlChicagoIL
Chihuahua RescueSan DiegoCA
City of Jacksonville Animal CareJacksonvilleFL
Collin County Animal ServicesMcKinneyTX
Columbia County Humane SocietyPortageWI
Contented CrittersMakinenMN
Dane County Humane SocietyMadisonWI
Douglas County Animal ServicesDouglasvilleGA
Dumb Friends LeagueDenverCO
East Alabama Humane SocietyPhenix CityAL
East Providence Animal Control ShelterEast ProvidencePA
Etowah Valley Humane SocietyCartersvilleGA
Everlasting Hope Animal RescueHillsdaleNY
Faithful Friends Animal SanctuarySalisbury NC
Feline Finish Line RescueBethlehemPA
Feline Urgent RescueMaggie ValleyNC
Feral Kitty TrappersWolverine LakeMI
Fetch Wisconsin RescueVeronaWI
Forever Home Pet RescueCastaicCA
Fox Valley Animal Welfare LeagueNorth AuroraIL
Frankie's Friends Cat RescueNew KensingtonPA
Friends for Life Animal RescueGilbertAZ
Furry Friends Animal RescueFriscoTX
Furry Friends NetworkCarlislePA
Golden Retriever Rescue of the RockiesArvadaCO 
Good Mews Animal FoundationMariettaGA
Grand Strand Humane SocietyMyrtle BeachSC
Greenhill Humane SocietyEugeneOK
HALO RescueSebastianFL
Harmony House for CatsChicagoIL
Hart County Humane SocietyHartwellGA
Hawaiian Humane SocietyHonoluluHI
Hi Tor Animal Care CenterPomonaNY
Hillside SPCAPottsvillePA
Homeward Animal ShelterFargoND
Hope for BrevardMelbourneFL
Hopeful Tails Animal ShelterJolietIL
House Rabbit Society of ChicagoWheatonIL
Hudson Valley Animal Rescue & SanctuaryArlingtonNY
Humane Animal PartnersNewarkDE
Humane Rescue AllianceWashingtonDC
Humane Society of Fremont CountyCanon CityCO
Humane Society of Manatee CountyBradentonFL
Humane Society of Monroe CountyMonroeMI
Humane Society of South BrevardMelbourneFL
Humane Society of South Coastal GeorgiaBrunswickGA
Humane Society of UtahMurrayUT
Just AnimalsMazonIL
Just Fur the Love of CatsPittsburgPA
Kane County Animal ShelterGenevaIL
Kendall County Animal ShelterYorkvilleIL
Kennebec Valley Humane SocietyAugustaMD
Kenosha Forgotten FriendsKenoshaWA
Kindred KittiesKenoshaWI
Kitty KindNew YorkNV
Last HopeFarmingtonMI
Last Hope Animal RescueWantaghNY
Lawrence County Humane Society - PANew CastlePA
Lexington Humane SocietyLexingtonKY
Lil Roar Cat RescueVirginia BeachVA
Little Mews RescueManchesterME
Lulu's Locker RescueChicagoIL
Marin HumaneNovatoCA 
McKamey Animal CenterChattanoogaTN
Mississippi Animal Rescue LeagueJacksonvilleMS
Misty Eyes Animal CenterAvonIN
Monroe County Animal ShelterMadisonvilleSD
Montgomery County Animal Control ShelterChristiansburgVA
Montgomery County SPCAConshohockenPA
Naperville Area Humane SocietyNapervilleIL
Nevada SPCALas VegasNM
North Shore Animal League AmericaPort WashingtonNY
Oakbrook Cat RescueTacomaWA
Oakland County Animal ShelterPontiacMI
Ohio County Animal ShelterTriadelphiaWV
Operation KindnessCarrolltonTN
Osceola County Animal ServicesSaint CloudFL
Palm Beach PurrsJupiterFL
PAWS - Pet Animal Welfare SocietyNorwalkCT
Paws 4 LifeBoltonCT
PAWS ChicagoChicagoIL
Paws for LifePuebloCO
Paws Humane Inc.Columbus GA
Polk County Animal ShelterWinter Haven FL
Portland Animal Control ShelterPortlandTX
Project MEOWPhiladelphiaOR
Purrfect Cat RescueCrystal LakeIL
Red Door Animal ShelterChicagoIL
Regina's RescuesParkerKS
Routt County Humane SocietySteamboat SpringsCO
Rover RescueNorth AuroraIL
Royce's RescuesRichboroPA
Sacramento SPCASacramentoCA
Safe Haven Dog RescueWheatonIL
SAFE Haven for CatsRaleighNC
Salem Animal Rescue LeagueSalemNH
Save Our Strays, Inc.LargoFL
Saving Cats & Kittens in Michigan WestlandMI
Saving GraceWake ForestNC
Scratching Post (The)CincinnatiOH
Second Hand PurrsFranklin WA
Secondhand HoundsMinnetonkaMN
Sioux Falls Area Humane SocietySioux FallsSC
Somerset-Pulaski County Humane SocietySomersetKY
Spartanburg Humane SocietySpartanburgRI
SPCA of Southwest MichiganOshtemoMI
SPCA of Wake CountyRaleighNC
Special BunnyCarnationVT
St. Francis Society Animal RescueTampaFL
St. Johns County Pet CenterSt. AugustineFL
St. Sophia's Forgotten FelinesWheatonIL
Starfish Animal RescueBataviaIL
Sylacauga Animal ShelterSylacaugaAL
Tails Humane SocietyDeKalbIL
Tiny N Tall RescueSt. CharlesIL
Town of Hempstead Animal ShelterWantaghNY
Tree House Humane SocietyChicagoIL
Two by Two RescueHelenaAL
Valley Humane SocietyPleasantonCA
Wadena County Humane SocietyWadenaMN
Washington County Animal ShelterFayettevilleAR
Watching Over WhiskersSpringfieldMO
West Suburban Humane SocietyDowners GroveIL
Whiskers TNR of Warren CountyProleIA
Woods Humane SocietySan Luis ObispoCA
Worcester Animal Rescue LeagueWorcesterMA

Your Beautiful Creations!

Can I trust a wagging tail?

One of the most misunderstood aspects of dogs is their wagging tail. It’s a common belief that a dog with a wagging tail is a “happy dog”, but that’s not entirely true. A wagging tail can mean “stay away” as easily as it means “come on over!” Not knowing how to correctly interpret this aspect of canine behavior can cause a lot of misunderstanding during human-canine encounters!

The main function of a dog’s tail is to provide balance. They use their tail for this purpose especially when running, swimming, walking along something narrow, or when making sharp, fast turns. The tail however, is also an important communication tool. In fact, dogs will wag their tails in the presence of other animals (humans and dogs included), but not when they are alone.

To be able to “read” the language of the tail-wag, you must first know the “natural height position” of the tail, for that particular breed. This is the position displayed when the dog is completely relaxed. When a dog wags its tail back and forth from this height position, they are simply checking things out and not reacting to their environment. If the tail is held higher than the natural position, this is typically an indication of happiness, enthusiasm and confidence. All good signs! If the tail is held lower than its natural state, it may indicate nervousness, insecurity or even fear.

From that point, consider the direction and speed of the wag. A fast wag is generally a good sign, while slow or very stiff movement back and forth should be treated with caution. It’s also interesting to check which direction the wag is headed. Since the left hemisphere of the dog’s brain is associated with “positive-approach feelings”, but controls the right side of their body, a wag to the right is a good sign! The reverse is true for a “wag” to the left, since the right hemisphere of the brain is linked with “negative-avoidance feelings.” If a dog wags its tail in this direction, it is likely scared and would like to get out of the area!

The best situation to witness is a dog doing the “full body wag!” This is a loose, flowing wag of the tail, in a position just a bit higher than its relaxed state. In this case the entire “back-end,” or even entire body, seems to rock back and forth as the tail wags. This typically means the dog is friendly and is happy to be approached by a person or another dog. The greater the area of the body that is engaged, the friendlier the dog!

You may have noticed the over-use of the terms “usually” and “typically” when describing how to interpret what the dog is communicating with their tail. As with most creatures, every dog is unique, even within the same breed. This makes it difficult to definitively interpret the body language of any individual dog.

It’s always best to see a wagging tail only as a sign that the dog would like to interact. It doesn’t however indicate the mood of the dog or what the result of that interaction will be. The safest tactic is to address the human companion and ask if the dog is comfortable with someone approaching them. This is much better than asking if the dog is “friendly”, since even friendly dogs can get scared or nervous. If the dog is open to an interaction, then it’s your chance to shower the pooch with praise and pets, and really get that full-body-wag going!

Shelter "thank you's" ...

Enjoy these thank you notes to YOU for all your work, help and support of CFC and the 400+ shelters we help. Thank you all!

  • "Thank you so much for making and donating such beautiful blankets! They came in at the perfect time - they'll help keep all our critters warm this (still) cold season!" ~ Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL 
  • "Your hand-crafted gifts for our adopted animals are amazing. Thank you so very much for your contribution to help our adoptees feel loved and less anxious as they settle in. As an all-volunteer animal rescue, we can't describe how appreciative we (and the kitties) are. Thanks so much!" ~ Hart County Humane Society ~ Hartwell, GA
  • "I just wanted to let you know I received your shipment of blankets and toys that you so generously sent Project MEOW. Thank you so much! We cannot wait to give these to our foster cats and kittens. I will send them home with our rescue kitties when they get adopted and they will have a beautifully handmade blanket to call their own. Thanks again!" ~ Project MEOW ~ Philadelphia, PA
  • "All the Good Mews kitties would like to thank you and your volunteers for sending us some blankets! We will be sending them home with the adopted kitties!" ~ Good Mews Animal Foundation ~ Marietta, GA
  • "Thank you and your volunteers so very much for your thoughtful and generous donation of handmade blankets. It is because of your kindness and compassion toward our animals that we are able to carry out our mission to improve the quality of life of animals in our care!" ~ ADOPT (Animals Deserving of Proper Treatment) ~ Naperville, IL
  • "Thanks so much for the recent box of blankies for our babies! We appreciate it LOTS!" ~ Missouri Wiggle Butts ~ Boonville, MO

For the Love of Granny...

After much searching for the origin of the Granny Square, it seems no one really knows when this pattern first came to be. That likely means it’s quite old and rightfully treasured!

The first published record of the Granny Square appeared in 1891, by the Butterick Publishing Company. However, it was only a description of the Granny Square, without a specific pattern. It was probably quite well-known, even then. The first written pattern was printed by Weldon’s Practical Needlework, a handful of years later, in 1897. The pattern was called a “Patchwork Square” but it appears identical to what we would today call a Granny Square.

This pattern was highlighted as a great way to use up extra bits of yarn, which probably helped its widespread adoption. Its popularity exploded during the Depression of the 1930’s as women would unravel (“frogging” in today’s terms) old sweaters and even socks that were no longer usable, in order to wind small skeins of yarn in various colors. Using all these remnants, they would crochet them into small squares of various colors, based on whatever they had unraveled. These squares were given to the older women in the household (the “grannie”) to be stitched together into whatever larger items were in need.

Granny Squares soon became one of the most traditional forms of crochet in the United States. Even people who have never picked up a hook or wandered the yarn aisle at Michael’s, can identify a Granny Square! I think part of its popularity is due to the fact that they are fast to make (much like Comfort for Critters blankets for pets), colorful and fun! All Granny Squares combine clusters of double crochet stitches, which are worked into the large spaces between clusters, created by chains. You can easily put together a square “by feel,” while watching TV or following sports games. I know I have!

While the blankets Comfort for Critters makes for animal shelter pets are typically 20-24” across, Granny Squares know no such limitation. The largest Granny Square was crocheted in 2016 and measured 1,311 square feet, or about 36 feet across! It was created with over half a million stitches, by Stephen Duneire (aka the “Yarn Bomber”), and weighed over 60 pounds! Granny Squares, whatever their size, occupy a special place in my heart since they represent what got me hooked on crochet, as a little girl. It was the first stitch I learned and the first items I made were colorful Granny Square blankets for my family.

I love the uniformity on one hand, and the wild combination of colors on the other. They are simple, recognizable and delightful. As I ventured into “Granny-land” I was thrilled to learn new ways to use this stitch, but make a variety of shapes. The most basic feature of any Granny Square is a cluster of double-crochet stitches worked into the chain spaces of the previous row.

To make a Granny Square especially colorful, I suggest putting aside extra yarn you may have left-over from previous projects. You can use yarn that varies in weight, but you’ll need to try and balance the weight. For instance, use one strand of 4-ply worsted weight yarn, but two strands together if the yarn is thinner in weight. Once you collect a good variety of these remnants, you’re ready to go! I sometimes gather all my remnants in a particular color family (blues & greens, for instance) and other times I mix and match whatever I have on hand. I do find that alternating the rows between a light and dark colored yarn, is especially nice. Granny Squares also typically have a black border, but it’s certainly not a requirement. Whatever you do, be creative and have fun mixing and matching and crocheting!

Click here to download a traditional Granny Square pattern!

Why we help shelter pets...

Please enjoy these comments left on our website from your fellow volunteers. I'm sure their sentiments will sound familiar. It truly does take a village to make CFC happen - thank you for being a part of that village!

  • "I make blankets for homeless pets because I want to make their lives a bit more comfortable. I find knitting and crochet to be wonderful therapy!" ~ Judith S. in Ottawa, IL

  • "I'm no longer able to volunteer at a shelter, but I want to do more than just donate money. That motivates me to make blankets!" ~ Leslie Y. in Broomfield, CO

  • "All my items are sent in loving memory of my rescue Bogie." ~ Diane M. in Hartwell, GA

  • "I love to crochet, love dogs and love to give back help somehow! I hate to see animals suffer, and I really appreciate all you do, helping pets." ~ Mary T. in Lynchburg, VA

  • "I'm motivated by my love of animals and especially by the desire to give some extra care and comfort to animals who are in need of care, love and a real home." ~ Barbara B. in Madisonville, FL

  • "I can't adopt all the shelter animals out there, so I make them blankets that they can take to their forever home!" ~ Kelly S. in Tolland, CT

Comfort for Critters

3s139 Sequoia Drive ~ Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski ~ Founder & Owner ~

~ Our Mission ~

To comfort all the animal shelter pets we can't adopt,

and to be a blessing in the lives of every volunteer, supporter & shelter worker.