Jun 17, 2022

Can you knit? RSCPA SA makes urgent callout for winter blankets to warm animals

Can you knit? RSCPA SA makes urgent callout for winter blankets to warm animals
Adelaide resident Gwenda Stevens with a portion of her handmade blankets.

The RSPCA in the South Australian suburb of Lonsdale has made a desperate plea for blankets and towels to help keep their shelter animals warm and dry through the extreme cold snap being experienced this winter.

In the past, call-outs of this nature have produced some amazing achievements from seniors who are renowned for their ability to knit and craft customised handmade blankets and pouches.

In early January 2020, seniors around the globe rallied to provide hand-knitted pouches for Australian animals that had their environment and families destroyed by devastating bushfires.

animal pouch
A handmade pouch donated in response to the wildlife fallout from the 2020 Australian bushfires.

The Lonsdale RSCPA shelter reported an all-time high number of 925 cats in care last month, which was a 158% increase from the same time last year.

Unfortunately, animals in semi-closed kennels are only partially protected from wind and rain, but this call for blankets and towels hopes to provide an extra layer of warmth and shelter from the elements.

Over the last seven months, Lonsdale RSCPA has taken in an average of 17 cats a day, an influx that has been described as ‘alarming’ by RSPCA SA’s Animal Care Manager Stuart Timmins.

Last year, 92-year-old grandmother Gwenda Stevens touched the hearts and warmed the bodies of hundreds of sheltered animals in South Australia as she knitted 500 blankets during the winter warmer 2021 appeal.

Sadly, many of the animals that arrive in RSCPA shelters are severely underweight and malnourished at their time of arrival.

This lack of body fat and musculature makes them more susceptible to lower temperatures.

Anyone that has any spare clean blankets, towels or newly knitted items can make a donation at 18 Overland Crescent (Sheidow Park), hand them into the Reynella Neighbourhood Centre, or drop your donations directly to Lonsdale RSPCA.

However, staff do ask that you do not donate any items with stuffing such as quilts or pillows as this is a choking hazard for the animals.

Donation locations and times:

  • 18 Overland Crescent, Sheidow Park (pop them at the front door)
  • Reynella Neighbourhood Centre, 164-170 Old South Road, Old Reynella (Mon-Thurs 9am-3:30pm or Fri 9am-12pm)
  • RSPCA Lonsdale, 25 Meyer Rd, Lonsdale SA 5160 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm or Sat-Sun 10am-3pm)

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