Coats for Cubs


Orphan raccoon safe in the sleeve of a
donated fur coat. Photo courtesy HSUS

So, what do you do with that old fur coat your great-aunt Mabel left to you in her will? Or that well-meaning muff given by an ex-boyfriend that you can’t bring yourself to throw away, but never wear? If you find yourself having fur on hand and not knowing how to get rid of it, consider giving it to the Humane Society.

I’ll let that sink in a second; I know I had to. “What,” I thought, “could the Humane Society possibly want with fur?” The mind boggled, tried to come up with ideas, and fell very, very flat.

Thankfully, the answer was a short link away. The Humane Society uses the donated furs to warm and comfort sick, orphaned and injured wildlife. The HSUS website says that:

The furs are cut into an appropriate size for the animal, whether it be a chipmunk, raccoon, squirrel, or opossum, and placed inside the animal’s enclosure. The furry blanket becomes a surrogate mother to orphaned animals, reducing stress and giving comfort. One rehabilitator related a story about a restless orphaned river otter who chirped constantly. Once she was given a fur blanket, she settled right down. Turning the sleeve of a fur coat inside out, a rehabilitator can also create a warm nest for a burrowing animal such as an opossum. Some animals adopt a piece of fur as a playmate, jumping on it and wrestling with it.

Buffalo Exchange stores across the country, including those here in Seattle, are collecting the fur items now through April 22.

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