Dog beds crafted for shelter animals

Lois Rose, of the Village Santo Domingo, displays a bed made by the Sewing N More club for shelter dogs. The beds were constructed from donated scrap fabric.

There’s no telling how long it’ll take to make one. Maybe a week? They start as depositories for extra fabric and wait near active sewing machines for scraps.

The dog beds are made up of the remainders of fabric, like leftover pie dough turned into a cinnamon roll.

Prolific sewers make prolific dog beds, including members of the Sewing N More club in The Villages, who then donate the dog beds to area animal shelters when they accumulate enough to justify the trip.

Sewing N More club founder Lois Rose donated 25 beds to Humane Society of Lake County on Thursday — the club’s latest delivery on the club’s schedule of alternating shelters.

And Rose already has close to nearly two dozen ready to go to the next shelter in a couple of weeks.

“We chose shelters that really wanted the kind that we are making,” said the Village Santo Domingo resident. “The shelters really appreciate what we give them.”

Because she’s so active at her sewing machine, the dog beds get made quickly.

For the past four years, Sewing N More has donated the finished dog beds to Humane Society of Lake County, Marion County Animal Services, and the South Lake Animal League on a rotating schedule. Each shelter gets about 25 dog beds every three months.

Neither the club nor the shelters expect the dog beds to last long. They’re made of cotton and the dogs will tear them apart.

But they do offer something for the dogs to lie on that isn’t the concrete, said Pat Pipa, of the Village of Briar Meadow. She takes over for Rose when Rose can’t make a meeting.

With the dog beds in mind, Rose regularly sifts through boxes of fabric that have been donated to her. First, she sorts through the material to find squares large enough to be cut up into squares for a quilt. If they’re otherwise too small, the pieces are fated to the dog bed.

All of the members of Sewing N More have an unfinished dog bed at home, ready to be stuffed full and destined for a shelter, Rose said.

Sewing N More regularly donates items to various charities, such as Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, which serves to improve the life of at-risk children.

After a long history of sewing items for family members, Pipa said sewers are fortunate to direct their passion and energy toward charity, where recipients are just as appreciative.

“It’s so important to give to these organizations when they can’t afford to do some of the things,” she said.

Read this story and many others in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Sun.