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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 12 Years & 84,000+ Blankets ~

september 2019 CRITTER NEWS

Happy Autumn everyone! I've heard from many of you that this is your favorite time of year. It's mine too...mainly because it's the perfect time to curl up with knitting needles or a crochet hook and your favorite yarn. The cooler evenings just inspire me to create something warm for all the pets I can't adopt (but wish I could). I know many of you feel the same.

With this in mind, I've started putting together an e-book of some of my favorite patterns, which are just perfect for making pet-sized blankets! It's going to be yet another fundraiser, as I attempt to cover our expenses (shipping mainly) every month. So look for that in a couple months!

I'm also looking into getting local volunteers together, in the western suburbs of Chicago. Whenever I get to meet a volunteer, (mainly when they're dropping off items at my home), it's such an uplifting experience. I think we all need more of those, or at least I do! Based on the positivity and support I see happening in the Facebook group, I think a monthly get together could be a wonderful thing! So stay tuned for more announcements on when and where. If you're interested in starting a group where you're at, that'd be awesome too!

Happy Labor Day!

Linda

a special thank you from catman2

      

"The cats LOVE their blankets. We would absolutely love more whenever y'all want to give 'em! The Siamese Manx cat pictured is Bianca, who loves to hog the blankets. Todd is the 17 year old Devon Rex cat pictured on the chair - excuse me, THRONE - with his blanket. They really enjoy them. Thanks so much!" 

~ Catman2 in Cullowhee, NC

Seniors to Seniors!

Being involved with Comfort for Critters necessarily exposes me to a vast network of other non-profits, working to improve the lives of companion animals. I’m often impressed and humbled by their work, and I try to shine a light in their direction, just as often as possible.

One such group is PAWS, located in Lynnwood, Washington, just north of Seattle. Their program, “Seniors for Seniors” is a great solution to a problem which many shelters face. The kittens and puppies steal hearts at shelters…older pets are often either less interesting or worse, suspect.

When I adopted my first dog, Daisy, just shy of her sixth birthday, I had a few people ask, “don’t you worry there’s something wrong with her, and that’s why she was abandoned?”  I’d wonder to myself, just what could a dog do to earn being left behind, in an abandoned house, with a bowl of water and pile of food?  Her life was not even worth a quick call to the local animal shelter, who would have taken her in? No, I was certain there was something terribly wrong, but it was with her first family, not with her. I’ve spoken with many rescue groups that would stand firmly with me on the issue. When pets wind up in shelters, it's almost always the result of a person’s mistake, not the pet's.

So when older pets find themselves in shelters, it’s typically more difficult to find them families. That’s where the PAWS program comes in. They place dogs and cats, over the age of seven or so, with senior citizens interested in adopting. They also drastically reduce the adoption rate, knowing that seniors are often living on a fixed income. They match each pet to the lifestyle and living situation of the new family.

There is countless research on the benefits of companion animals, especially for the elderly. Companionship, an increase in exercise, and the feeling of being needed are just the start of a long list. Most of all though is the unconditional love which companion animals bring, on a daily basis, to the lives they touch. One of my favorite sayings is, “those who say you can’t buy love, have never paid an adoption fee.” So true.

These senior pets also benefit from a quieter home and lifestyle. These homes are brimming with affection and are not judgmental of an afternoon nap (or two). While the shelters do near-heroic work in my estimation, nothing replaces your own home. Matching seniors with senior pets is a clear win-win.

I hope to spread the word a bit on this simple idea, since so many other shelters across the county could do the same. If you help at a shelter, work at a shelter, or have adopted from your local shelter, please consider suggesting this idea. You can refer them to www.PAWS.org for more information. “Critters” comfort us, including seniors, in so many ways….this is one way you can help return that comfort to some older critters who may need it most of all.

Shelters who received our blankets in august

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Aiken County Animal Shelter - Aiken, SC

All 4 Animals Rescue - Mishawaka, IN

Almost Home Foundation - Elk Grove Village, IL

Angels of Assisi - Roanoke, VA

Animal Care Services - San Antonio, TX

Animal Defense League of Texas - San Antonio, TX

Animal House Shelter - Huntley, IL

Animal Lifeline of Iowa - Des Moines, IA

Animal Protective Association of Missouri - St. Louis, MO

Animal Welfare League - Chicago Ridge, IL

Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County - Pierceton, IN

ARF-IL - Lisle, IL

Asheville Humane Society - Asheville, NC

Aurora Animal Control Shelter - Aurora, IL

Best Friends Animal Society - Kanab, UT

Boonville Animal Shelter - Boonville, MO

Buddy Foundation - Arlington Heights, IL

Capital Area Humane Society - Lincoln, NE

Casper Humane Society - Casper, WY

Castaway Critters - Harrisburg, PA

Cat Association of Topeka - Topeka, KS

Cat Guardians - Lombard, IL

Catnap from the Heart - LaGrange Park, IL

Cat Tails Acres - Shelby Township, MI

Chenango SPCA - Norwich, NY

Coastal Animal Rescue - Inlet, SC

Colonial Capital Humane Society - New Bern, NC

Columbia County Humane Society - Portage, WI

Community Animal Rescue & Adoption - Jackson, MS

C&W Rustic Hollow Shelter - Nashua, IA

Denver Dumb Friends League - Denver, CO

Douglas County Animal Services - Douglasville, GA

East Providence Animal Control Shelter - East Providence, RI

Emerald City Pet Rescue - Seattle, WA

Fox Valley Animal Welfare League - North Aurora, IL

Fur Angels - Aurora, IL

Fur the Love of Paws - North Platte, NE

Furry Friends - Carlisle, PA

Glynn County Animal Control - Brunswick, GA

Good Mews Animal Foundation - Marietta, GA

Granny Rose Animal Shelter - Dixon, IL

HART Adoption Center - Cumberland, ME

Hope for Life Rescue - Virginia Beach, VA

Hopeful Tails - Joliet, IL

Humane Society of Central Illinois - Normal, IL

Humane Society of Putnam County - Greencastle, IN

Humane Society of Utah - Murray, UT

Just Animals Shelter - Mazon, IL

Kenosha Forgotten Friends - Kenosha, WI

Kindred Kitties - Kenosha, WI

Kitty Angels - Nashua, NH

Last Hope - Farmington, MN

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society - Harbor Springs, MI

Lost Dog & Cat Foundation - Arlington, VA

Main Line Animal Rescue - Chester Springs, PA

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter - East Hanover, NJ

Nebraska Humane Society - Omaha, NE

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

Operation Kindness - Carrollton, TX

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Paws 4 Life - Bolton, CT

Pennsylvania SPCA - Philadelphia, PA

Polka Dogz Pet Rescue - Orlando, FL

Pulaski County Humane Society - Somerset, KY

Prattville Humane Society - Prattville, GA

Quincy Humane Society - Quincy, IL

Red Door Animal Shelter - Chicago, IL

Rover Rescue - North Aurora, IL 

Sandra Sue Benson Animal Adoption Center - Aransas Pass, TX

Save Our Strays - Safety Harbor, FL

(The) Scratching Post - Cincinnati, OH

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

St. Francis Society Animal Rescue - Tampa, FL

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

The Bridge Home No-Kill Shelter - Blountville, TN

Treasured Animal Rescue - Aurora, IL

Union County Animal Control Shelter - Murphysboro, IL

Urban Cat Coalition - Milwaukee, WI

Valley Humane Society - Pleasanton, CA

Wabash County Animal Shelter - Mt. Carmel, IL

Wadena County Humane Society - Wadena, MN

Western Hills Humane Society - Spearfish, SD

West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL

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

Wisconsin Humane Society / Ozaukee Campus - Saukville, WI

Wisconsin Humane Society / Racine Campus - Racine, WI

Wise County Shelter Decatur, TX

Worcester Animal Rescue League - Worcester, MA

Wyandote County Humane Society - Upper Sandusky, OH

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

Your Beautiful Creations!

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Shelter "thank you's" to you. . .

  • "Thank you... everyone loves the blankets. They're perfect size. We can't thank you enough! One of our cat volunteers gets really excited when she sees we have received a new box. She puts off to the side so she can give them to the cats personally! Thank you for helping care for our cats and kittens until they find their new homes." ~ Columbia County Humane Society - Portage, WI
  • "Thanks again for the blanket donation. We are so happy for the blankets - they bring comfort and joy to everyone - 2-legged and 4, and sometimes 3! We love receiving your blankets, and so do our cats! Please keep up the good work!~ Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI
  • "Thank you! They just arrived yesterday afternoon and we truly appreciate them. We give them with our dog and cat adoptions and use them in the shelter. Last year we had over 300 adoptions! We are grateful for them and I know it is appreciated by our adopters too. Blessings!" ~ A Forever Home Animal Rescue - Tavares, FL
  • "Thank you very much for the cat blankets you made for the King Street Cats. All of us at the shelter appreciate, and are grateful for, your gifts and support. Thank you!" ~ King Street Cats - Alexandria, VA
  • "Thank you so much for the blankets! Our kitties absolutely love them. Your generosity is overwhelming...thank you so much!" ~ Frankie's Friends Cat Rescue - New Kensington, PA
  • "We just got the delivered blankets and as always we were so grateful to receive them! We use them and then send them home with newly adopted kitties and the adopters are so grateful! The kitties are grateful too because they don't have to ride home in a hard cardboard carrier. They get a beautiful and soft blanket for their journey that can stay with them in their new home! Thank you!" ~ Collin County Animal Services - McKinney, TX

Pets you are helping!

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What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

Thank you for taking the time to leave such nice and rewarding comments on our website. I know I love reading them, and I've heard that your fellow volunteers do too! Here's what you had to say recently...

  • "I volunteer at our local shelter and see how much the cats and kittens love the homemade blankets to snuggle in and sleep on. I hadn't crocheted in about 30 years but tried it again and really enjoy making the blankets. I think the blankets will help because all animals like something soft and warm to lay on. It is comforting for them. Shelter animals are stressed out and having the blankets help them feel better until they get adopted. I really enjoy crocheting the blankets and meeting all the members on the Facebook group. I get lots of inspiration from their projects and also they answer a lot of questions for me about crocheting!" ~ M.L. of Portage, WI

  • "I have two rescue dogs and they have brought so much joy to my life, and I remember how scared and confused they were when I first adopted them. My dogs love blankets and won't sit or lay anywhere without something soft to put their heads on, so I just hope that the pets in the shelters have that soft item in the shelter to snuggle with and that they feel a little bit more comfortable, which hopefully will lead to them being less stressed while they wait for their forever home. Thank you for all that you do! I love that there is an organization that supports a cause that helps animals so much."        ~ Alissa G. of Tomball, TX 

  • "I make blankets because I figured it was a great way to get back into knitting and create something to help a homeless dog or cat. Hopefully something soft & warm will make them feel more at ease. My blankets were donated to the shelter where we adopted our last dog, a pit lab mix, the sweetest dog we have ever had." ~ Cherie B. of Santa Paula, CA

  • "Blankets are my way of helping make the kitties look adorable so they can find homes faster. The blankets are bright and fun and hopefully make the animals more relaxed and appealing. Making blankets for animals makes me feel like I have a purpose and am able to do something worth being proud of."  ~ Catherine J. of Mays Landing, NJ​

  • "All of my dogs have been rescues and I love all animals. I am grateful for the efforts of all no-kill shelters. This is a meaningful way I can contribute. I certainly hope each blanket provides comfort during the wait for a loving family and helps each animal bridge the challenge of the transition they face. This effort is a win/win for everyone involved. I am humbled by the gift it has turned out to be to me." ~ Debby K. of Ambler, PA

  • "I love animals and hate to see them abandoned or abused. So many in shelters! Wish I could take them all and give them love. I think the blankets will give them something warm and soft to comfort them. It's a good feeling to give something back to the animals. I have a cat that I love dearly and if I can help another animal, I will!" ~ Patricia V. of Portage, PA

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

altWe are now donating well over 1,000 blankets (sometimes over 2,000!) 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!

together we have donated 83,463 blankets!

august Blessings

1,617 Blankets

91 Shelters

33 States

105 Volunteers

  • We helped so many pets in August, by donating a total of 1,617 blankets!
  • 91 different shelters (wow), in 33 states 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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Support Our Mission!

We rely on the generosity of animal lovers to keep us going and keep us shipping! We donate 1,000 - 2,000 FREE blankets to animal shelters each month!

All our merchandise is personally made, or designed, by Linda, CFC's founder. She offers a handful of blankets for purchase and has designed some one-of-a-kind t-shirts!       

Click here to check them out!

Winner announced!

Congratulations to Lynn Day of Greenfield, WI, who was the winner of our August "craft kit" prize. This random drawing was open to anyone who helped us out in any way during the month. The craft kit was loaded with lots of new crafting goodies, that have been donated to us over the years.

Lynn has been helping CFC since February of 2014 and has donated 1,862 blankets to homeless pets! She focuses on the many shelters we help in Wisconsin, shipping her blankets directly. She has made over 150 shipments to Wisconsin shelters, so I was thrilled to pull her name in the drawing!

Lynn will receive nine skeins of variegated yarn, a tote bag, knitting thimble, point protector and measure, tapestry needles, stitch markers, tape measures, color wheel, set of 8 crochet hooks in a felt case and a set of 12 knitting needles in a vinyl case. Whew!

Thank you to everyone who helped us. YOU are making a difference to homeless pets!!!

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sniff out treats with a sniff mat!

If you have a dog that loves to sniff out treats....try making them a fun "sniff mat". My pup loves hers!

Click here for directions

Spice up blankets with a starfish!

 Here's a fun way to add a little something extra to the pet blankets you’re making. On some of the really special blankets I like to add a starfish! If you’re already a CFC volunteer, you know why Starfish are special to us…if not check out the story below. Click here for the Starfish instructions! 

* The Star Thrower *

One day a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a young boy going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach. Back and forth the boy went. 

As the man approached, he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide. The man was struck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to die.

As he approached, the boy continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the sea. As he came up to the boy he said, "You must be crazy! There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." 

The boy looked at the man. He then bent down and picked up one more starfish, and threw it back into the sea. He turned back to the man and said, "But it made a difference to that one."

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New Tool as we work towards a "no-kill" u.s.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah has a great new tool on their website, you may want to check out. It shows how each state is doing in the goal of becoming "No Kill" by 2025.

This interactive map tracks how many pets enter shelters and how many are adopted. If a shelter achieves a 90% save rate for all cats and dogs, that community is designated as "no-kill".

Check it out here!

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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 most of us are juggling CFC, jobs and kids! I do reply to every inquiry, but it may take me a few days. Thanks for your patience!

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3s139 Sequoia Drive   

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski Founder & Owner 

info@ComfortForCritters.org