The following post is by guest blogger Nan Baker, marketing director for The Quilt Pattern Magazine:
Hi! My name is Pretty Girl and I want to share my story about my Kennel Quilt. It all started with Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Not only were people and homes affected by this disaster, but animals were as well. As a result of the devastation, many people were displaced along with their pets. People had to find alternate living quarters and having their pets with them was not an option. Animal shelters stepped in and offered to help care for pets by housing them and feeding them. It was a pretty overwhelming task and not an easy one. Even though pets had shelter, food, and a safe place, it was still very stressful for all concerned.
Now you may or may not know, but when kitties are in shelter facilities, particularly crowded ones, they tend to just “hunker down.” We don’t like the feel of the bottom of the kennels and most of us end up sitting in our litter boxes. I know! I know! It is not a good thing, but the litter feels more normal than stainless steel on our pads. Yes, there are blankets and towels, but they are usually too big for kitty kennels. Fortunately, there was a group of quilters who wanted to make it better.
Earlier that year, The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM) – whose staff all love animals, particularly kitties – decided to offer free patterns for Kennel Quilts on their website. Quilters could use them to make one for their kitties for comfy trips to the veterinarian. The quilts measure 12″ x 18″ and fit most standard-size kennels. As most quilters like, love and have pets, this was a great idea to help my furry friends! Everything changed after Hurricane Sandy.
The Petfinder Foundation and The Quilt Pattern Magazine joined forces. The magazine put out a call to their readers to make Kennel Quilts for the animal shelters helping the animal victims. Over 100 Kennel Quilts were sent to shelters in New Jersey and New York. The quilts came from all over the United States, Canada and even England!
Because of the overwhelming response, the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team was formed in the spring of 2013. Disasters continued happening in 2013 – tornadoes, explosions, fires, and floods. It was bad! That is where I came in. I was in a shelter in Colorado that took in animals that were affected by the awful fires in the canyon. Quilters immediately came to the rescue!
Today, almost 1000 Kennel Quilts have been made by over 100 volunteers and have been distributed to animal shelters in 10 different states! Whenever an emergency situation arises, the Petfinder Foundation alerts The Quilt Pattern Magazine and TQPM promptly puts out the call to the Small Kennel Quilt Team. It is amazing how it works!
But I have a little secret: I know that quilters are caring and compassionate people who want to help whenever and wherever there is a need. Not all have the time or the money for fabric to make a big quilt, but most have lots of fabric scraps (leftover pieces from other projects) and some time to make little quilts like my Kennel Quilt. That group of quilters sure made it better for me and my kitty friends here at my shelter and at other shelters, too! We have soft, comfy quilts where we can sit, make biscuits, and take naps. That is the story about my Kennel Quilt.
To become part of the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team and “make it better” for shelter animals, go to the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt page. Tell them that Pretty Girl sent you!