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Comfort for Canines

Animal shelter needs blankets for homeless pets

With the approach of colder weather, a local animal shelter needs used blankets to comfort the shelter's dogs and cats as they await adoption.

The Friends of Homeless Animals shelter, in Aldi, is seeking donations through its second-hand store in Chantilly, The Treasure Hound. Although the shelter is heated, a blanket can bring extra comfort to a dog or cat who can wrap it around themselves at bedtime, said Linda Moringello, a shelter and store volunteer.

"They can just snuggle into it and it just makes them happy," Moringello said. "If the dogs are happier and have a better demeanor, then that makes them more adoptable. And what dog doesn't like to snuggle?"

The blanket drive is an annual event for the shelter, which last year brought in hundreds of blankets. However, those are pretty much worn out and the shelter just recently launched the 2010 drive, Moringello said. The shelter asks that residents look through their closets and bring in those no-longer-needed blankets. If the blankets are larger, they ask that they be cut in half and stitched so ends don't fray when they are washed. The blanket drive has been taken up by several local Girl Scout troops and the store has already received donations from all over the region, including Washington D.C.

"This is the time of the year when a lot of people are getting new things and we thought it would give them a chance to get rid of their old blankets by giving them to us," Moringello said. "You would be surprised, but our volunteers will go all over the place to pick up stuff."

The shelter depends on the donations and the thrift store for support because it receives no government funding. The shelter is a no-kill facility, keeping homeless animals until they can be adopted, Moringello said. Like most animal-shelters in Northern Virginia, the shelter is full, caring for about 200 cats and dogs, Moringello said.

The Treasure Hound relocated in March from Middleburg into a bigger space in Chantilly, just off of Route 50. The move has increased foot traffic and helped with donations. The store regularly holds special events and features sidewalk sales on Sundays. Not surprisingly, dogs are welcome in the store.

"Our rules are pretty strict," Moringello said. "Dogs are allowed as long as they keep their owners on a leash."

Drop off blankets at the shelter or at The Treasure Hound, 14508-D Lee Rd., Chantilly, VA (Corner of Rt. 50 and Lee Rd., one light West of Route 28). Or call, 703-263-9073. 

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