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  • WarmQuilts

Animal Pouches - Made with Love

Earlier this month, the call went out . . . with the Australian fires claiming nearly half a million animal lives, there were thousands (if not millions) more that were injured and in need of certain supplies from those who sew.

The response has been overwhelming and Animal Rescue Craft Guild has announced a temporary pause on the creation and distribution of donations because "their hubs are full and and they seem inundated. Estimates of items received are in the thousands."

"Never underestimate a crafter in a crisis." ~Jacqui Fink, Sydney-based fabric artist

Pouches, koala mittens, bat wraps and carry bags – these are the items that Australia has been in dire need of. If you were looking to help the animals in need and didn't know how – this may be your chance. But, be aware that the call for rescue items has been temporarily paused.

“There are already literally container loads of knitted items which can’t be used,” said Dr. Leanne Wicker, a senior veterinarian at Zoos Victoria in Australia, in an email to the PBS NewsHour.

“The problem is that these are wild animals, not pets. They have very sharp claws even as young, and these get caught up in knitted fibres.”

Not all items will go to waste. Crafters are urged to first check with their local group about what may be needed — if anything — and what specific pattern is preferred. That way they will only make things that are needed and to approved specifications.


Patterns for Australia Animal Rescue (Complete Guide)

If you are ready to help, scroll through the files in the Complete Guide, to see what is in most need and be sure to confirm with the various organizations before crafting the patterned items. Follow the Animal Rescue Craft Guild's Facebook page for current status for hand-crafted donations.


I read about the pouches on the "Life Images by Jill" blog. Last week she "joined a local group making joey pouches for baby kangaroos that have lost their mothers. The pouches are designed to mimic their mother's pouch." Jill shared that "it felt good to be able to do something practical to help."


Meredith Ryan of FAWNA NSA (or For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid in New South Wales) pointed out issues with handmade items that crafters may not be aware of, such as the difficulty in cleaning crocheted bird nests, the need for natural fabrics for some rescue items, and patterns that don’t properly replicate the wings of a mother flying fox.

"We have had people knitting koala mittens for burnt pads and sewing pouches for marsupials. People are so passionate to help the animals, they want to save our national emblems and they want to do whatever they can to help." ~Nicole Blums, Rescue Collective Organizer

"There is nothing that could have prepared any Australian for the tragedy that we are witnessing. Our hearts break for all the communities affected, for every individual impacted and for every life lost." ~WIRES Wildlife Rescue
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