Orphaned and injured furry babies are benefitting from discarded furs and fur clothing.
Born Free USA, an animal advocacy nonprofit, has partnered with more than 16 wildlife rehabilitation centers across the nation to provide donated furs to orphaned or injured baby animals during their recovery. Those behind the collection effort acknowledge nothing can undo the cruelty of the past, which created the fur trade, but using the furs for the benefit of these recovering animals gives the furs a useful purpose. Most of the donations received have been fur coats and stoles made from mink, rabbit, and fox, but there have also been tails of coyotes, Geoffroy’s cat fur (a South American cat nearly wiped out by the 80s), white-tailed deer, bison, zebra, and even a trophy-hunted mountain lion.
First launched in 2014, the Fur for the Animals donation drive brought in more than 100 fur donations and quadrupled by December 21, 2015. Since then the organization estimates the donated items have an estimated value of $1.5 million—a number still growing. Furs are collected at a time when baby animals are more prevalent, between the months of September to December, and give youngsters a warm, comforting place for their rehabilitation.
The Girl Scout Troop 5051 became aware of the program and volunteered time to modify some of the coats into smaller cushions and blankets specifically designed to comfort and cuddle small, baby animals. The wildlife centers universally report the furs seem to aid recovery.