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A Look At Leggings For Life

February 18, 2013

With all of the great organizations out there, sometimes it’s hard to imagine just how helpful they can be until you come across a cat (or person) who can truly benefit from their services.

That’s the way that I felt when I found out about Leggings for Life.

L4LLeggings for Life is a non-profit organization that has volunteers crochet leggings for animals who have limb deformities and paralysis. They’ve found that by simply covering the limb with a legging, that limb can be protected from ulcerations and help them with walking.

It sounds like a great idea, but I didn’t realize how great until I was spending an afternoon volunteering at my local shelter. One of our adoptables, Captain Morgan (who has since been adopted!), has a leg deformity. The foot on one of his hind legs looked like it had been placed on backward – instead of it pointing forward, the whole foot was turned 180º and bent up a bit.

The shelter staff wasn’t sure if he had been born with it, or if it was an injury that had healed improperly before he came in, but no matter how it came to be that way, he didn’t seem to bothered by it. Sometimes he’d lean on the bent joint, other times he’d walk without using it at all. You could tell there was some wear at the bottom of the foot joint he would lean on (the hair was rubbed off a bit), but other than that he looked great.

That’s when it clicked.

Although Captain Morgan could get around just fine, he could be a great candidate for leggings. Adding a legging to his special foot, around the joint could provide extra padding and protection. And then that made me think about all of the other pets out there with similar and worse issues who could *really* benefit.

Here’s how the organization works:

Leggings for Life connects animals who need custom leggings with folks who can crochet these leggings. This is where the crocheting volunteers really shine. They first crochet a test pair of leggings, and then once the proper size and design is determined, the volunteer crochets two to five more pairs so they can be rotated and washed.

Photo courtesy ashpags

There are several benefits to using crocheted leggings over other solutions (like Pet Flex tape). For example, crocheted leggings allow air to circulate around the limb, and they provide a little bit of cushioning. Plus, they’re a very green solution, as they can be used many times before they wear out.

The best part? The relationship between the animal and crocheter is for life. So as the animal grows or as pairs of leggings wear out, the pet parent can notify the crocheter of their needs. What a great service!

The organization is trying to get the word out to help as many people as possible – so the next time you’re at your local shelter, humane society, or vet, let them know about Leggings for Life. Perhaps they can think of a few candidates.

If you’re interested, visit their Facebook page. You can also find out answers to more specific questions here:

While I don’t think leggings would be a great option for many of our CH cats – goodness knows they already have trouble walking as it is! – I know that many of you have kitties with other disabilities who may be in need of leggings, let alone work with special needs pets who could really benefit from this service.

Is there an animal in your life who could benefit from Leggings for Life? 

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