Old Fur Coats Are Saving Baby Animals

If you have one, this is the perfect way to get rid of it.

Baby animals who are found orphaned or lost need all the warmth they can get as they recover - and discarded fur coats can help them feel at home.

A baby skunk finds comfort in a fox fur coat donated by Born Free USA's Fur for the Animals campaign. | The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

Now in its third year, Born Free USA's "Fur for the Animals" campaign has already collected more than 800 fur garments, worth an estimated $1.5 million, and distributed to wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country.

These baby squirrels needed help after their tree was cut down. Now they snuggle together in a donated fur coat. | Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary
The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

"Since we launched this campaign in 2014, we have seen an overwhelming outpouring of donations from across the globe: fur coats, scarves, hats, gloves, pillows, toys and more," Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, said in a release. "Frequently, the donations arrive with exceptionally moving thank-you notes from people relieved to find a worthy use for unwanted fur."

A baby Virginia opossum makes a little nest in an old fox fur coat. | The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

It's estimated that the furs, which are often inherited and would otherwise sit in storage units, represent 26,000 animals who were killed for fashion.

River otter kits recover with a donated mink. | Blue Ridge Wildlife Center

Now the skins will go to sanctuaries and rescue centers, including the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California, and Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.

Orphaned baby rabbits in a donated fur hat at the Wildlife Rescue Center in Missouri. | Kim Rutledge
The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center
The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

"The success of this campaign illustrates that consumers increasingly want nothing to do with fur in fashion," Roberts said. "While urging people to not buy fur, we also provide an answer with fur already purchased: Put it to good use by comforting wildlife."

A young raccoon cub takes a nap on donated fur. | Blue Ridge Wildlife Center
Young bobcats settle down for a nap on a fur collected by Born Free USA. | The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

Update: Born Free is currently at capacity for old furs, but you reach out to a wildlife rescue or sanctuary near you to see if they are taking donations. Many of them can use fur for their recovering animals.

A baby brown bat, just under a week old, warms up in a donated fur while gaining his strength. | Chintimini Wildlife Center