Student Volunteer Hours Opportunities
Why create fleece beds and snuffle mats for the animals at Humane Society Naples?
Humane Society Naples (HSN), an independent non-profit organization, provides care, shelter, and placement into loving homes through pet adoptions for thousands of orphaned animals in the Collier County area each year.
Comfort and enrichment are important components of the care we provide for the animals while they are at our shelters. Pet fleece beds provide such comfort. Our animals love to snuggle in them. Snuffle mats provide enrichment as they keep our animals’ minds engaged and healthy as they forage in the mats for treats. You can think of these as “brain games”.
Pet Fleece Beds and Snuffle Mats
Instructions and Requirements for Creating Pet Fleece Beds and/or Snuffle Mats for Service Hours (Please CAREFULLY read all 7 steps below before beginning):
- If you are under 18 years old, ask permission from your parent/guardian.
- Complete the Registration Form below. (If you are under 18 years old, parent/guardian must fill out the form.) You will receive an automated email confirming receipt of your Registration Form.
- Review Humane Society Naples website to learn more about us. Carefully read our Home page and About page: Our Mission and What We Do. You will need this information to complete the Reflection Questions on the Summary Form.
- FGCU Students: please register Tracey Talentino, Volunteer Coordinator, Humane Society Naples, as your service-learning project supervisor with the Eagle Service Network Office when you begin your project.
- Click on the Create Pet Fleece Beds Tab and/or the Create Snuffle Mats Tab and follow the instructions for making these items.
- Once you have completed your beds/snuffle mats, please submit the Summary Form. Please ensure you note on your Summary Form the type of items you have made (beds and/or snuffle mats), the correct number of items you will deliver to Humane Society Naples, and the number of hours these represent. The type and number of items you note on your Summary Form MUST BE THE SAME as the type and number of items you deliver to our shelter. DO NOT submit the Summary Form until you have completed all of your items and you have your final count.
- AFTER SUBMITTING your Summary Form, please follow the directions below to deliver your items to Humane Society Naples’ Main Shelter, 370 Airport Pulling Road North, Naples, 34104 (use the Main Entrance) and ensure you receive credit for your service hours:
- Deliver your completed items in a bag or box on the following days and times ONLY: Wednesday-Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm, Saturday-Sunday from 8:00-10:30am.
- Include a sheet of paper in your bag/box of items that clearly notes your name, your email address and phone number, and the number and type of items you are delivering.
- DO NOT place the items in our donation bins outside of the shelter.
- Deliver your items directly to our Guest Services Representative, Janet Viera. If Janet is unavailable, please ask for another Guest Services Representative, and ensure you get the name of that person. If our front door is locked when you arrive, please call our main number 239-643-1555, press “0” and tell the receptionist you are outside to complete a student donation delivery.
- DO NOT wait until the last minute to deliver your items. It may take us up to one week to send a service hours verification letter via email to students who need these (most FGCU students do not need these); we complete these letters on a weekly basis. Please plan accordingly based on the date by which you need to submit verification of your service hours to your school.
- FGCU students: you are responsible for submitting your service hours to the Eagle Service Network Office so they can send us a link to verify your hours.
Our canine residents, and some feline residents, really enjoy foraging for treats in the snuffle mats you will find pictured below. Given the large number of animals that we care for, we always need more of these items. Please note that you would need to purchase, at your own expense, the materials needed.
Number of volunteer service hours to be awarded for each snuffle mat:
- First Snuffle Mat: 4 hours
- Subsequent Snuffle Mats: 3 hours each
Instructions for Creating Snuffle Mats:
- A sink mat (please see photo below and video via link below)
- About one to one-and-a-half yards of medium weight fleece material
- Please view the demonstration video via the following link, then read the additional information and see the photos below the link.
- https://youtu.be/EG8mxk5QDT0 : Credit to Jessica of “My Furry Family”
Sources for materials:
- Sink mats: Dollar Tree, Amazon, Walmart or Home Depot, other hardware stores.
- Fleece material: JOANN Fabric, Amazon, Walmart and other stores that sell material/fabric. You can also find inexpensive fleece blankets at thrift stores, too. The key is that fleece is easy to tie, won’t ravel, is washable and is still thin enough to go through the holes.
Tips for making the snuffle mats:
- If sink mat is very thin, put two together for more stability.
- Cut fleece strips about an inch wide and approximately 9 inches long and some pieces varied in length to give dimension and interest to the animals in their foraging. It doesn’t have to be exact.
- The video explains to tie by rows and it’s easier to work by rows in order to not miss holes. Please see the photo above of a sink mat with rows highlighted in red and blue (to demonstrate that you can work rows either horizontally or vertically).
- It is very important to securely double knot the fleece pieces so the animals (especially dogs) can’t unravel them, and they’ll stay tied during the washing.
- The photo above of the finished snuffle mat will give you an idea of what the final product should look like.
- First Cat Bed: 2 Hours; Subsequent Cat Beds: 1 hour each
- First Dog Bed: 2.5 hours; Subsequent Dog Beds: 1.5 hours each
Instructions for Creating Cat and Dog Fleece Beds:
- 2 pieces lightweight fleece material: 18” x 24” for cat bed; 30” x 42” for dog bed
- Lay 1 piece of fabric on a flat surface and cut 4” fringe along all 4 sides
- Repeat this for the second piece of fabric
- Layer the first piece of fabric onto the second piece of fabric and lay flat on a table or the floor
- Using a piece of fringe from the top layer and a piece of fringe from the bottom layer, tie a knot
- Repeat knotting around all 4 sides
- Finished cat bed should measure approximately 11” x 17”
- Finished dog bed should measure approximately 23” x 35”