Fur the love of animals: Donated coats keeping orphaned critters safe and warm

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Fur doesn't normally have a favorable reputation among animal advocacy groups, but one is using the controversial coats to provide rest and recovery for orphaned baby animals.

Born Free USA has relaunched its three-year campaign, "Fur for the Animals," to provide comfort and warmth to abandoned animals.

Read: Neglected Angora Rabbit With Matted Fur Gets Transformation of a Lifetime

CEO, Adam M. Roberts, told InsideEdition.com the campaign began when he attended a session about elephant poaching in Africa.

"In the session, the topic was clear — elephant ivory shouldn't be commercialized," said Roberts. "In that moment I thought about what other items should be removed from commerce."

Since fur is widely purchased, Roberts and volunteers created the campaign to accept donations of fur to wildlife rehabilitation centers.

The group decided that instead of throwing unwanted fur coats or hats in the back of a closet, the materials should be donated and put to good use.

Related: See the world's endangered animals:

World's endangered animals
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World's endangered animals

Amur leopard

(Photo: Jeff Pachoud, AFP/Getty Images)

Black rhino

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Hawksbill turtle

(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Leatherback turtle

(AP Photo/David McFadden)

Mountain gorilla

(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)


(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

South China tiger

(AP Photo/Patricia Hagen, File)

Sumatran elephant

(AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)

Sumatran orangutan

(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Sumatran rhino

(AP Photo)

Sumatran tiger

(AP photo)

Western lowland gorilla

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Yangtze finless porpoise

(Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

African wild dog

(AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Amur tiger

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Bonobo baby Sambo looks around in the zoo of Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. The male chimpanzee baby was born on January 7 and had to be raised by hand. During the next days the baby will meet with it's fellow species in the zoo. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Asian elephant

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Bengal tiger

(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Black spider monkey

(Photo: Mauricio Lima, AFP/Getty Images)

Black-footed ferret

(AP Photo/Elijah Van Benschoten, File)

Bornean orangutan

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Bluefin tuna

(AP Photo/Chris Park, File)


(AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Giant panda

(AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Sea lion

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


With the campaign in its third year, more than 800 items of fur, worth $1.5 million dollars, have been donated and sent to several wildlife centers across the country.

"Donations keep pouring in, it's pretty overwhelming," said Roberts. "We actually have piles in our office."

Read: Orphaned Baby Koala Finds a Friend in Plush Toy After His Mother Is Killed

Along with hats, coats, blankets, and rugs, donors have also sent heartfelt, handwritten notes with messages dedicated to animals injured for fashion.

"Some of the items have been in their families for generations and they're very sad to part with them," Roberts said. "But knowing that it's for a good cause makes it easier for them to donate. People are inspired by the outcome of the furs."

According to Roberts, there are multiple purposes for the campaign. Not only does it want to comfort wildlife, but the organization also wishes to spread awareness about the fur trade in America and put an end to it.

The campaign will run between the months of September to the end of December. To donate, it is best to ship items to their office: Born Free USA, 2300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Suite 100B, Washington, DC 20007.

"We want to get furs out of people's homes," said Roberts. "People shouldn't wear fur – it belongs to animals."

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