Authentic fur coats have long been a controversial fashion statement, protested by various activist groups who seek to protect animals from being turned into wardrobe additions. Some of these items are quite expensive and can be donated to charities; there are campaigns specifically dedicated to making use of discarded fur coats. If you've had a change of heart or would simply like to get rid of an outdated piece, you have options.
The Humane Society
The Humane Society accepts fur donations through their Coats for Cubs program. Wildlife rehabilitators cut fur coats to fit a specific animal, like a raccoon or a rabbit, and place the fuzzy material in the enclosure of the orphaned or injured creature. The fur acts as a warm surrogate mother and promotes healing and comfort. Mail unwanted fur directly to Coats for Cubs at 2100 L St., NW in Washington, DC. You may file for a tax deduction in return.
If you have a Buffalo Exchange consignment shop nearby, you can drop off your fur at the store between November and April in order to have them ship it to the Coats for Cubs offices. Any type of fur apparel is accepted, in any condition. The Buffalo Exchange staff has shipped over 5,000 pieces to the program since 2006. Should you require a tax deduction for your fur, however, you must mail it directly to the Humane Society.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a renowned organization which defends animal rights and heightens public awareness. Their Fur Campaign accepts tax-deductible donations of fur at 501 Front St. in Norfolk, Virginia. With these discarded items, PETA clothes homeless individuals in neighborhood shelters nationwide and ships warmth and comfort to the women and children of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Any local animal shelter or animal rescue center will accept thoughtful donations of fur. Shelter workers can line animal cages with your old coats to make more habitable environments for the canine and feline residents who need to keep warm at night. Call your neighborhood shelter in advance to inquire about their donation requirements if you want to make sure that your fur will be put to good use.