At Hugs for Homeless Animals, knitted Snuggles make life a little easier for the residents of animal shelters.
Homeless critters have it tough. Even in the most humane of shelters, they face overcrowding, Spartan surroundings, and boring lives. With Snuggles — pet blankets made to grace animal shelter pens — a group called Hugs for Homeless Animals is out to brighten the lives of animals waiting for adoption. Snuggles are easy to make, and their recipients are always grateful.
The sad truth for most homeless animals is that there just isn’t enough room for all of them. While they’re usually well cared-for, they often face a short life inside a small steel cage with concrete floors. The only way out is adoption — or death. No one wants it to be this way, least of all the people who run the shelters, but they have little choice in the matter. There are just too many strays. That was the harsh reality faced by Oregon native Rae French in 1996, when she tried to take astray cat to the local animal shelter. After seeing the conditions in the shelter, she adopted the cat and created Hugs for Homeless Animals. Among other things, Hugs for Homeless Animals collects Snuggles for animal shelters all over the United States. In its first year it collected more than 200,000.
ADOPT ME, PLEASE!
Hugs for Homeless Animals promotes their Snuggles as the ideal project for first-time knitters, because dogs and cats don’t care about poor color combinations or dropped stitches. All they want is something comfy to lie on while they wait. Snuggles get animals adopted, too. Something about seeing a blanket in an animal’s cage plucks at people’s heartstrings, making them more willing to open their hearts to a shelter animal.
A SNUGGLE OF YOUR OWN
Hugs for Homeless Animals welcomes any Snuggle you can contribute to the cause. You can find patterns, Frequently Asked Questions lists, and other relevant info at its website. Snuggles can be knitted, crocheted, or sewn in sizes from fourteen to thirty-six inches square. If you knit or crochet your Snuggles, acrylic and cotton yarns are best, since they’re easy to machine- wash and dry. Please don’t use wool. It collects hair, dander and dirt, making it harder to clean. It will also felt and come apart in a washing machine. The choice of stitch is up to you, but the simple garter stitch produces a thicker, more comfortable Snuggle that’s hard to beat. One of the signature Hugs for Homeless Animals projects, the Adopt-Me Blanket, is nothing but a basic garter-stitch square, and it’s easy as pie to knit.