Old Fur Coats Donated To Wildlife Centers Are Saving Baby Animals

It's the only time the fur industry actually saves the lives of animals.

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

Real fur accessories and clothing garments are always a terrible thing to purchase; the fur industry is a horrid business that involves the inhumane upbringing of millions of animals whose slaughter is unspeakable.

However, there is something to be said about donating fur goods that were already purchased ages ago to a worthy cause. That’s why Born Free USA started a campaign called “Fur for the Animals” where people can donate their old furs to help in the rehabilitation of baby animals.

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

Baby animals recovered in the wild are often orphaned and injured, requiring round-the-clock care at facilities before they can be released. Since many of them are used to having their moms and litter mates around, the fur coats are used as a substitute to keep the babies warm and comfortable. They have taken so well to the real fur that the program is still going strong.

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

The program has been running for three years now and over 800 fur garments have been sent in, their value set at an estimated $1.5 million. The organization, whose primary goal is to “keep wildlife in the wild” by supporting the rehabilitation and release of wildlife, distributes the garments to wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country.

“Since we launched this campaign in 2014, we have seen an overwhelming outpouring of donations from across the globe: fur coats, scarves, hats, gloves, pillows, toys and more,” Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, said in a release. “Frequently, the donations arrive with exceptionally moving thank-you notes from people relieved to find a worthy use for unwanted fur.”

A baby brown bat, just under a week old, warms up in a donated fur while gaining his strength. (Credit: Chintimini Wildlife Center)

A baby brown bat, just under a week old, warms up in a donated fur while gaining his strength. (Credit: Chintimini Wildlife Center)

The organization’s evaluation of the donations thus far determined that the furs came from approximately 26,000 animals who died for fashion. The majority of the furs were said to be inherited, and therefore just taking up storage space. Roberts explains perfectly how this campaign actually means that fur is losing popularity:

“The success of this campaign illustrates that consumers increasingly want nothing to do with fur in fashion. While urging people to not buy fur, we also provide an answer with fur already purchased: Put it to good use by comforting wildlife.”

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center

The program isn’t year-round but, fortunately, the period for donation just began. It runs this year from September 21 to December 31, 2016. To donate, fur can be dropped off in person or shipped to Born Free USA, 2300 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 100B, Washington, D.C. 20007. If you work at a wildlife rescue center and want to partner with Born Free USA, email them at info@bornfreeusa.org.

These squirrels' tree was cut down, leaving them homeless. (Credit: Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary)

These squirrels’ tree was cut down, leaving them homeless. (Credit: Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary)

Credit: Kim Rutledge

Credit: Kim Rutledge

A one-year-old, three-legged black bear cub plays with a donated bison hide. (Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center)

A one-year-old, three-legged black bear cub plays with a donated bison hide. (Credit: The Fund For Animals Wildlife Center)

River otter kits recover in mink garments. (Credit: Blue Ridge Wildlife Center)

River otter kits recover in mink garments. (Credit: Blue Ridge Wildlife Center)

What are your thoughts on this upcycling of fur? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


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