The Snuggles Project was founded in 1996 to do something to help comfort all of the unfortunate animals who end up in shelters. Many times these are kittens and puppies born because pet owners are not responsible and don’t spay and neuter their pets. Other times, families move, lose jobs, or find themselves in other unfortunate situations where they don’t feel they can continue to care for thier pets. I find this very irresponsible. A pet is a member of your family and should not be discarded because you have decided it is too inconvenient to care for the animal any longer. The Snuggles Project collects security blankets for these abandoned animals to provide them with comfort while they are confined in cages, and to give them something familiar and cuddly to take with them should they be lucky enough to find a new home.
Second Chance Cats, run by Charlotte Wright of Robertsdale, Alabama runs a special program under the Snuggles Project to provide homes for FeLV- or FIV-positive cats. Knitted blankets are given to the kitties in shelters, go along with the cats when they are adopted. (This site has annoying music and flashing graphics, so you might want to to directly to the Snuggles page.)
Knit 4 Paws was established to provide blankets to abandoned animals in New York City’s animal shelters. In 2004 they held a Knit-A-Thon in conjunction with Critter Knitters (sorry but their website seems to be gone), and collected over 1,700 blankets from knitters around the world. You can knit or crochet a blanket to donate, or you can send in yarn and K4P will pass it on to a Senior Care Center for the residents to use to knit blankets. They have free patterns on their website as well as links to patterns on other sites.
The Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project at Wendy Knits has information about the “knitting basket” gift that can be purchased at Heifer International. This charity doesn’t give comfort to animals, it gives animals to impoverished familes around the world. Instead of containing knitting needles, yarn, and other notions for yourself, this unique “knitting basket” gift provides a family with “two llamas and two sheep — one male and one female of each — four animals famous for their warm, income-producing wool.” According to the website, “From shearing to spinning, weaving and finally selling woolen goods at market, your gift of a Knitting Basket will help four struggling families earn extra income to break free from the grip of poverty and hopelessness. Over time, as your gift multiplies and more animals are passed on to help others in need, entire communities will be warmed by the precious wool of your Knitting Basket.”