Group Gives Comfort to Shelter Cats

Operation Blankets of Love collects blankets and towels to create cat beds at shelters.

Posted: August 13, 2010, 3 a.m. EDT

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Shelter kitten
Shelter kittens are more comfortable, and adoptable, when they have a warm blanket or towel to rest on.

Operation Blankets of Love offers warm towels and blankets to shelter cats and dogs. The blankets comfort the cats and take one item off the budget list for shelters, allowing them to spend money on needed medication and food.

Eileen Smulson began OBOL after seeing shelter dogs outside in crates on a rainy day. A shelter worker said they were on display for an adoption event, and couldn’t be inside. When she asked why there were no blankets for the dogs, one worker said their budget had no room for that.

“I couldn’t imagine my dog Ginger in that situation,” Smulson said of her former shelter pet.  She decided to do something about it.

Smulson started in January 2008 with a simple cardboard box and some flyers, to collect comforting cloths for shelter cats and dogs. In five months, she had collected 7,000 donations. Now, Smulson says, the organization is an even stronger and more recognized presence, reaching 1,000 cats and dogs a month. 

“I made it into a nonprofit,” she said. “Now we have one of the biggest nonprofits.” Smulson shares with other charities, such as Stray Cat Alliance. “I give this group cat trees, cat scratchers – this is one of the many groups I give to.”

The shelter cats and dogs benefit from the donations in several ways. They receive bedding for warmth and comfort, allow shelters to allocate more funds to medications and food and give potential pet owners a chance to see dogs and cats in a more relaxed and happy state – thereby increasing their adoptability.

“If they see a cat snuggled inside a blanket, that cat will be picked up to be adopted,” Smulson said. “One that’s shivering in the corner with plain newspaper won’t.”

More information can be found on the group's website. Links to volunteering and donation opportunities are available.

“It brings me joy to see a cat comfy in a little spot,” Smulson says. “Everyday I know I save the lives of homeless cats.”

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Reader Comments

karen    bellingham, MA

8/20/2010 8:25:19 AM

How wonderful. I never thought of donating blankets. I think I will now!

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

8/16/2010 3:40:10 PM

Very nice.

D    Newtown, CT

8/16/2010 8:06:24 AM

A wonderful idea!

Carol    Silver Spring, MD

8/16/2010 7:34:10 AM

I knit cat blankets for my local shelter. They are always appreciated. Every little bit helps.

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