Island women keeping critters comfy with hand-knit blankets for humane society

Two Island women are spending their nights knitting blankets for animals at the P.E.I. Humane Society.

Anjanette MacArthur and Florence Cleroux made 28 blankets last year and hope to reach 50 by the end of 2020. 

MacArthur came up with the idea after seeing it online in a knitting forum. 

"One of the ladies on there had done it in her area and showed a picture of it and I thought that would be a great idea to use up excess yarn," she said.

"It's a nice way to give back because all my cats have been rescues and they are the very best cats you can ever get."

'Volunteered to help her out'

MacArthur has an extra room in her apartment where she stores yarn for the blankets.

She said she wanted to make 30 blankets last year, but her arthritis got in the way.

Shane Hennessey/CBC

That's when Cleroux decided to get involved. 

"Anjanette's arthritis was really bad and I knew she had her heart set on making X number of blankets to donate, because she had done it the previous year, so I just volunteered to help her out," she said.

"We almost made her target. We were short two."

Hand-knit items received regularly

Cleroux and MacArthur have been knitting for decades and said it takes three nights to make one blanket. 

"It's nice to know that they're, you know, being used and being loved and those animals have been through so much, most of them," she said.

"It's nice to do something that they can get some comfort from."

Jennifer Harkness, the development manager at the P.E.I. Humane Society, said it receives blankets and hand-knit items on a regular basis. 

"We're really lucky to have volunteers in the community that consistently bring us warm things for the animals to bring comfort to them."

Blankets go home with adopted animals

Harkness said the blankets are frequently sent home with the animals when they are adopted.

Shane Hennessey/CBC

"It has their scent and they're more comfortable in their new environment," she said.

If the society didn't receive these donations, Harkness said it would end up spending more of its own money on these items, "which means we'd have less for animal care and then we would also maybe have to use rougher kinds of blankets."

Cleroux and MacArthur said they hope others take up knitting to give back in the way they have.

"The humane society needs so much help so you know, if you can just do something little like making blankets, it still helps them out a lot," Cleroux said.

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