Wilton teens help homeless pets

Animals at local shelters have warm beds to sleep in this winter thanks to the Crafts for Shelter Pets Club at Trackside Teen Center. Club members combined compassion and creativity in assembling more than 35 beds for local animal shelters.

For the past two months, teens met at Trackside to create no-sew pet beds of all shapes and sizes to be donated to the Animals in Distress no-kill cat shelter in Wilton and the Westport branch of the Connecticut Humane Society.

“It has been so much fun working with the teens on this project. They love helping animals in need and this was a great way for them to do just that while learning a fun new skill at the same time,” said Amy Nassef, Trackside’s program director. “The Wilton community has also demonstrated a great deal of generosity in donating all the fleece we needed for the pet beds and we’re very grateful.”

Club members were invited to meet the animals they have helped at both shelters as they dropped off their completed pet beds. Animals in Distress received a dozen beds on Dec. 14, while club members involved with the project met the cats currently living at the shelter.

On Dec. 21, the teens visited the Connecticut Humane Society in Westport with 25 beds and a dozen blankets for dogs, cats, and small pets. In addition to delivering their donations, the teens were invited to tour the animal shelter and meet some of the homeless pets they’ve helped.

“The teens had a lot of fun visiting the two shelters. A few of them are interested in careers helping animals and they’ll be looking for more volunteer opportunities in the future,” Nassef said.

In order to gather the materials needed to reach their goal, teens initiated a donation drive for fleece blankets at the start of October and within weeks, the donations were piling up. Everything that has been donated has either been used to create the pet beds or has been donated as blankets to the animal shelters.