Donate Your Unwanted Fur Coats for a Great CausePublished February 22, 2010
When I was a little girl, ages ago, my mother had a favorite fur coat in which she permitted me to cuddle up to comfort me when I was sad or upset. Somehow the furry "blanket" was very soothing. I won't give away my age, but back then fur coats were all the rage and since I was so young I never gave much thought as to how the fur was collected. Apparently my mother didn't either. Of course now that I am an adult, I am strongly against the use of real fur, especially since the faux-variety can be just as attractive and warm. So I was totally delighted when I ran across this interesting item in my email box the other day. Orphaned baby snuggling in donated fur I recently learned that The Humane Society of the United States started an innovative program working along with the Fund for Animals in 2005, "Coats for Cubs", to help orphaned, sick or injured wildlife. And for those folks who just happen to have an unwanted fur coat stashed away in a closet, they can help HSUS in their new endeavor. Why not simply donate these unwanted or unused fur items to the program! You can join those folks that have already donated 2,687 furs in 2009. Fur coats and collars are used for nests, bedding or as "surrogate" parents with which these homeless animals can snuggle in. In their article announcing the program, Michael Markarian, the agency's chief operating officer in Washington D.C. commented, "We use the discarded furs as bedding to give the animals comfort and reduce stress. The fur garments act as a surrogate mother. It is a warm and furry substitute." These coats and other fur items are sent to wildlife rehabilitation centers that rescue skunks, squirrels, coyotes, raccoons, and other species. The program has already provided assistance to thousands of these needy animals. According to Michael Markarian, many of these coats are donated by people who have had a change of heart and feel that the use of real fur is inhumane. It doesn't matter to them whether the animals being used for fur are caught in steel-jaw traps, or farmed specially to harvest their pelts. Markarian said, "This is a great way for them to give back to the animals." A well known wildlife Sanctuary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, The Florida Wildlife Center, has been utilizing coats for wildlife babies for a long time, but donations were difficult to obtain. Staff and volunteers had to hunt down suitable items to be used by visiting tag sales and thrift shops. But after they became affiliated with the HSUS in June, 2009, the center received three boxes loaded with furs, and is now well provided for the upcoming "baby" season. The Florida Wildlife Center presently houses what they think is the largest wildlife trauma center in the United States. In 2009 they cared for 12,000 animals, of which 1,900 were orphaned babies. Included in the population are around 1,000 gray squirrels, Virginia raccoons and Opossums who will benefit wonderfully from the donated furs. Additionally the center is anticipating an addition of around 1,000 baby animals in 2010 due to the closure last year of a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. So if you are considering donating furs, coats are terrific, but hats and caps are even more greatly appreciated. Since they don't have to be cut up, and are already round in the shape of a nest, they are highly desirable. The HSUS Coats for Cubs drive will formally end on Earth Day, April 22, 2010, but fur donations are welcomed at any time of the year. Donations can be shipped directly to the group, or turned in to any Buffalo Exchange which has stores or franchises in 14 states. Visit http://www.buffaloexchange.com/index.php?pg=4 for locations. With Spring Cleaning just a short time away, don't you think this is a perfect time to make a donation? Let us know by leaving a comment.