People are not the only ones displaced by this devastating storm. Animals, both beloved pets and unfortunate strays, have also felt the fury of Harvey. To answer the needs of hundreds of rescued animals, area shelters beyond the immediate impact zone have opened their facilities to accept these animals in need, and there is a unique organization that is helping these shelters. The following is a statement from The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s website:
“TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team was formed after Hurricane Sandy to help animal shelters affected by disasters. Started by TQPM (The Quilt Pattern Magazine - an international, digital-only publication), it is partnered with the Petfinder Foundation.
The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization available whenever disasters strike - a way to join a larger effort helping our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. There are over 500 members.
When disasters strike, TQPM checks with the Petfinder Foundation to see if there are shelters in need of assistance. Whenever Petfinder receives a request, the shelter's information is immediately sent to TQPM, which responds with a call requesting the correct mailing information - a necessity in case shelters have been severely damaged, and alternate housing has been set up. TQPM then sends an email to the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team with the shelter's information and posts the request to their Facebook page.
The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team springs into action making Kennel Quilts and sending them to the shelter along with a form explaining the Kennel Quilt program and naming the partners. Members also send TQPM a picture and the number of Kennel Quilts made, which is then posted on both the website and the Facebook page. To date over 5,500 Kennel Quilts have been sent to shelters all over the US.”
The latest kennel quilts I made were of cute dog-and-cat print fabric that was donated to the Quilt Museum. All six quilts in the photo were made from that print on the front, but you can see the variety of fabrics I used for the backing. This is a great place to use those odd fat quarters received in a guild swap, the ones that don’t go with anything else in your stash. For both the piecing and the quilting, I used some strange variegated thread that I purchased who-knows-when for who-knows-what-purpose; I don’t think the animals will mind!
Many generous donors give items to the Museum: books, magazines and quilt patterns for the museum’s library; and fabric and other sewing and quilting items for the museum’s shop. Some of the fabric is packaged and sold to museum visitors; some is donated to other nonprofit organizations; and some, like the dog-and-cat print, is used by me or other volunteers to make items for charitable causes. I sent the quilts in the photo to the San Antonio Humane Society, just one of several Texas and Louisiana shelters that have requested kennel quilts.
I see the purpose of these kennel quilts as twofold. Of course, they provide a soft and comfortable surface for animals in the shelter’s kennels or crates, but I think they also serve to cheer up the shelter workers, people who often do so much good with so little.
If you would like to help by making kennel quilts, check out The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s website http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/program/KennelQuilt/
After all, as Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Dottie Macomber, museum library volunteer