So-called Cage or Kennel Comforter Programs are a novel way to help pets in shelters. Volunteers create and donate handmade blankets, knit beds, comforters for shelter pets in their communities to keep them warm and comfortable. Learn how to get involved now!

Your dog has it all, so even thinking about the plight of shelter pets breaks your heart. The Woof Reporters completely understand. So we set out to see what kinds of brilliant ideas are out there to help pets in need. Aside from much-needed donations, volunteer opportunities abound, including one that we just had to pass along. Introducing the Kennel Comforter Program.

Does it sound familiar? This creative concept has been around for years and continues to pop up at shelters all across the country. Here’s the gist: volunteers band together to create and donate handmade blankets, knit beds, comforters and toys for the shelter pets in their communities. The cozy bedding helps to make the pets more comfortable and keep them warm, and it’s been shown that they actually increase adoptions – the pets appear to be more adoptable when lying on their colorful little beds rather than in stark cages.

Get Started With Little Time and Money

The Woof Reporters warmed to this concept because it addresses two realities many pet lovers face – little time and little money. For many people, volunteer hours and limited funds to donate to shelters just aren’t possible. The kennel (or cage) comforter programs allow concerned pet people to lend a hand by turning their knitting or sewing hobby into cozy nesting for homeless pets. And if your skills are a little rusty, that’s okay too, the dogs and cats are very forgiving and will not be examining your stitches closely.

It’s easy to get involved in your local comforter program or even start one of your own with friends or other pet lovers in your community. Take a close look at the links below for all of the details and also for information about the two pioneer programs, the Cage Comforters Program and the Snuggles Project. And get ready to get crafty – the shelter pets are counting on it.

The Scoop:

Visit the sites below for everything you need to know – from tips on how to start your own program to sewing and knitting patterns and instructions.

See more ways to help homeless pets in our Lend a Paw Tip Archives

Originally published November 2011, reviewed and updated November 2016.