This article was featured in WYDaily on 9/23/22.
When human companions find their perfect furry friend at the Heritage Humane Society, the joy is wrapped with the gift of a handmade blanket from Precious Pieces, a volunteer group within the Shelter’s family of supporters. This year marks the 15th anniversary of this keepsake initiative that has resulted in 15,086 blankets given to newly adopted pets as they begin their next chapters.
A forever hug
The fear and anxiety that comes with being abused, lost, and abandoned can be overwhelming for homeless pets. Although they are treated with great care by the Heritage Humane Society staff and dedicated volunteers, adjusting to new surroundings takes time. When they are adopted, it means another change. That’s where the Precious Pieces program’s handcrafted blankets serve as a warm, forever hug from the shelter as they transition to their new home.
Founded in 2007 by Lillian Campbell, the one-person initiative quickly grew. Over the years, dozens of volunteers have donated their materials, time, and skills to ensure every adopted dog and cat leaves for their new home with their celebratory gift, which is often treasured the same as a child’s lovie by the pets.
The dedicated all-volunteer program is a part of the Heritage Humane Society Auxiliary. This talented group currently has 12 active volunteers and the Knitter’s Guild pouring their hearts and talents into making the treasured blankets. Volunteer Diane Kelly has led the heartwarming program since 2017 after Campbell moved away from the Greater Williamsburg area. Since then, the group has made 3,132 blankets and logged over 10,350 volunteer hours hand sewing, knitting, or crocheting pet blankets. Volunteers work from home and deliver the blankets to the shelter and Diane picks up some of them to bring to the shelter and display.
“I have found this program a lot of fun to work with. I get to see the creativity of the donors. I met a couple in Newport News who had adopted from us and still had the blanket 5 years later,” shared Diane Kelly, volunteer lead of the Precious Pieces program for the Heritage Humane Society.
Join in the joy giving
New members are welcomed. Volunteers make the blankets in their homes, so it is a great way to give back remotely. Interested volunteers can email [email protected] for more information.
“The Precious Pieces program is one of my absolute favorite initiatives and we’ve honored to celebrate their 15 years of dedication,” says Kimberly Laska, executive director of the Heritage Humane Society. “This collaboration of the talent within our Greater Williamsburg community coming together to wrap their arms around shelter pets has already happened 944 times this year – the number of adoptions since January 1.”
Want a keepsake blanket?
There are many homeless pets dreaming of their forever homes. Visit these adoptable dogs, adoptable cats, and other small pets available at the Heritage Humane Society and you, too, can be picking out the next keepsake blanket that leaves the shelter.
To learn more, visit HeritageHumane.org or call 757-221-0150. Heritage Humane Society is located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
Sponsored content by