Monday, January 16, 2012

Rounding Out 2011 with a Big Gift to NYC Shelters

By Nicole Mak, Rational Animal intern

On December 4th, 2011 Rational Animal Founder Susan Brandt and members Salem Krieger, Christine Hahn, Maggie Hurley, David Glicksman, Thira Goldfinger, and Courtney Kistler delivered handmade beds and cat toys to the Brooklyn Animal Care and Control (AC&C), a municipal kill shelter housing 200 orphaned cats and dogs. All of the professionally shot pictures from this day can be seen here.

Through its Mother’s Comfort Project, Rational Animal once again recruited volunteers to make handmade beds for these lonely animals, in an effort to make them feel more at home. Often the shelter only provides towels for the animals to sleep on, nothing compared to a comfy bed sewn by loving hands! This delivery is just one of many that Rational Animal has been responsible for. Since the project's start in 2008, over 3,500 beds and 2,000 toys have been made and delivered to the AC&C shelters.

One of three throughout the city, the Brooklyn AC&C is home to animals who, if not adopted or placed in a foster home by one of the city's small animal rescue groups, will be euthanized. Because of the short adoption window, the shelter only provides its animal residents with very basic amenities. Housed in small metal cages, without toys or a human touch, it can be easy for AC&C’s orphaned animals to become overly stressed and sick.

The Mother’s Comfort Project was created as a tribute to the late Fannie Shapiro, an animal lover and grandmother of Rational Animal founder Susan Brandt. Having grown up seeing her take in strays, Susan keeps her grandmother’s love for animals alive through Rational Animal’s mission and this project. A picture of Fannie Shapiro with a Baltimore Oriole serves as the Mother’s Comfort Project’s logo, which Rational Animal made into a patch which is sewn onto every shelter bed.

The Mother’s Comfort Project seeks to bring attention to the AC&C shelters as well as educate those on the plight of animal homelessness in New York City. Student clubs are welcome to volunteer. It’s never too early or too late to help an animal in need! Sewing beds allow first time volunteers and veterans to help fight animal homelessness without the emotionally draining effect a shelter visit can bring about.

If you or a loved one would like to donate to this project please visit If you would like to get involved and sew some beds, pleasecheck back here for the next up coming date. Beds are usually sewn every month, at Flirt, Brooklyn, in Park Slope.

If you don't feel you can commit to sewing beds, here are other ways how you can help make 2012 a little warmer for New York’s orphaned animals:
Provide transportation – we need a van for each sewing event: from Chelsea to Park Slope and back, for bed delivery to an AC&C shelter, and from Chelsea to one of the three shelters (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island)
Donate fabric/batting (bed stuffing) – contact to donate!
Be a sponsor – your company or brand can sponsor this project, giving you added exposure through our press releases and both web and social media pages. Plus you'll be helping immensely to make unlucky animals in our shelters feel warm and loved.
Become a project manager – help organize and recruit volunteers for sewing and delivery events. We need help getting funding, transportation and volunteers. Help us get the word out!

For more information and pictures please click on the following links:
• Video of our August 14th Sewing Session and BELOW
• Pictures of our delivery by Salem Kreiger, on Facebook
• Learn more about AC&C and adopt an animal today!

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