Do you love animals? Check out these knitting charities for animals–both pets and wildlife!–and free patterns to use
Nothing seems to get the heart of a charity knitter beating faster like the opportunity to knit for animals. Maybe it’s because animals are the ultimate of the world’s helpless; maybe it’s because so often, humans are the cause of so many animals in distress.
The bottom line is that when charity knitters hear of an urgent need they get knitting, and FAST. Nowhere is this more apparent than when animals are in need.
One caveat: because knitters’ hearts tend to beat faster at the thought of creating for animals, situations can get out of hand quickly. Nowhere was this more apparent than during the Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco.
(Never heard about this? You can catch up here.)
How to Ensure Your Knitting for Charity Goes to Animals in Need
How to prevent such a thing from happening? Recognize that whenever you read about any sort of urgent need, you might not know how long ago it was written.
Even if it was written a week ago, during the interim it’s possible that the coffers could have been filled.
Nowhere is this rule of thumb more essential: contact the organization before you get started. Call or email or even send a Facebook message.
If the organization doesn’t respond within a week, chances are good that they’re either a) swamped or b) no longer in need.
As of this writing, all of the following organizations are fully operational and would love your donations. (But check first if you’ve never donated to them before, anyway!)
Real Ways to Knit for Real Animals in Need
The Snuggles Project: The Snuggles Project mission is simple. They ask you to create “snuggles” — soft, warm, knitted or crocheted blankets – for animals living in shelters.
The blankets not only help calm homeless animals, but they also help create a more homey and less industrial feel for animal shelters.
Comfort for Critters: Like the Snuggles Project, this organization collects knitted and crocheted blankets and distributes them to animal shelters to help keep homeless animals warm and comforted.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home: in the United Kingdom, this rescue organization operates shelters in three different locations. They provide three different patterns — for blankets and two kinds of cat toys — and invite knitters to create them for the dogs and cats in their care.
Knit Bird Nests: Many different wildlife organizations need knitted bird nests for orphaned baby birds. One such organization is Wildlife Rescue Nests, which we’ve featured before. You can find several more here at Bev’s Country Cottage.
Knit Pouches for Australian Orphaned Wildlife: NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue, and Education Services is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization. WIRES collects knitted pouches that they use to keep a variety of orphaned wildlife warm. These include wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders, and possums.
Your Local Shelter: Perhaps the best way to help animals is to visit the animal shelter in your own backyard. Nearly every city in America has animal shelters in which to house (hopefully temporarily) homeless critters. This is true in many other industrialized nations, too.
Just contact your local shelter and ask if they would like to receive blankets, clothes, or toys for dogs and/or cats. Chances are pretty good they’ll say “YES!”
Free Patterns To Help You Help Animals
Now you know where you can send your charity knitting for animals. You probably want to know WHAT to knit now, right? Never fear. Many of the preceding organizations have their own patterns on their website.
If not, the following two links will give you many ideas.
So if you love animals and want to make a difference for them? You’ll find just what you need among these knitting charities and free patterns!