For some people who are homeless, a dog is the only family that they have. What’s worse, many shelters don’t allow dogs, forcing homeless pet owners to make a decision: spend the night in a warm shelter with a bed and a meal, or stay cold and hungry on the streets so as not to abandon their dogs. Of course, most choose the latter.
Realizing that there was a huge lack of resources for homeless pet parents, vet student Ruby Shorrock, along with a handful of classmates, opened the Trusty Paws Clinic in Glasgow, UK. She was just 22 at the time, and 2 years later, the clinic’s success has made an incredible impact on the community. She has even won an award for her amazing efforts.
What’s better, is Ruby and her team have inspired many other cities to open up similar services to homeless dog owners in their own communities.
Watch the inspirational video below:
Patrick Desjardins had been involved for some time as a volunteer with a Colorado dog rescue. His friend, Julie, also had a love for animals and wanted to help but was unable to contribute in the same ways. During a visit, Patrick noticed that Julie was a crocheter, and suggested that she could make blankets for the dogs. The rescue was grateful and when they posted the photos of Julie’s gift, others realized that they could help too – and so began Wrapped In Love: artisans with a mission!
Since 2014 Wrapped In Love (WIL) has grown from a pair of friends with a desire to help to a Facebook group of over 4,000 members across the U.S. They’re skilled with yarn and fabric– whatever they have that can benefit dogs and cats in need! About once a month group administrators post the current projects and members make a pledge on their website. In just a few short years these dedicated crafters have donated over 19,000 blankets and other items (like rice socks, sweaters, bandanas and toys) for rescue animals!
To some, a blanket may not seem like a big deal. But WIL Director Linda Wallace has seen many times how much of a difference just one blanket makes in the life of a shelter pet.
“A soft blanket can literally change the adoptability prospects for a rescue animal. A frightened puppy mill dog, an abandoned senior, or a litter of unwanted puppies can be depressed and frightened, hiding in the back of their enclosure. A soft blanket with which they bond can bring them out of that fear and into the front where they become more adoptable.
“One specific story is a little dog who was so very frightened. He managed to get loose and run out the door of the rescue. The rescuers searched the area for hours and as night fell and it got cold, they were worried. They put a crate outside the entrance containing his Wrapped in Love blanket in hopes that the smell and comfort would draw him back in. Early the next morning they found him snuggled in his blanket, just as they hoped. His blanket literally saved his life.”
Each blanket is made by kind hands and includes a heart somewhere on it to represent the love that went into it. It’s sent off with a donation form and a letter from the creator with warm wishes.
“To be able to make a blanket that may be the first soft, kind, loving, item that a puppy mill dog or frightened cat has ever had, is an honor and responsibility that we don’t take lightly. “We are set to blow past the 20,000 blankets mark in 2019. That’s downright astonishing to us all.”
As a Facebook group, one might expect ugly social media drama or individual egos to rear their heads from time to time, but it doesn’t happen. Linda tells iHeartDogs,
“We have stayed true to our original mission. We keep our Facebook page free of drama. We still don’t buy, sell, deal with money, or even need to define ourselves as a business. Our primary goal is still to handmake and donate blankets and other items to volunteer run dog and cat rescues. No matter how large we grow, what we do doesn’t have anything to do with us or our egos. The focus is the rescue animals.”
WIL is a success, but they’re dreaming bigger – because bigger means more shelter dogs and cats with blankets!
“Since we have accomplished what we have done in under five years, my vision for the future will always be more. More rescues, more members who are actively hand making items, more regional groups that can meet up with each other and inspire each other, more of a web presence.
“One of my personal goals is to one day have a WIL-Kids group that is geared towards teaching the youth of the world about the right ways to treat animals as well as make blankets and support their local rescue groups. If we want a better future we need to start with those who will hold the future in their hands.”
Everyone can do something – it’s the belief that became Wrapped In Love. If you’re ready to turn your yarn or fabric stash into love and kindness for a shelter pet, you can join Wrapped In Love.
“We are genuine. We are passionate. We believe everyone can do something and if someone hasn’t figured out what that is yet, maybe it’s getting involved with our group. The more people we have to help, the more rescues we welcome to the family, and subsequently more dogs and cats get a WIL blanket.”