Katy woman makes 'Joey Pouches' for animals affected by Australia wildfires

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KATY, Texas — A Katy woman is asking for donations of materials to help animals affected by the Australian wildfires.

Amy Casto is a mother of two and is creating ‘Joey Pouches,’ which are like swaddling blankets for animals orphaned or displaced by the wildfires.

“Someone shared a post about about American rescue crafters group on Facebook helping with the Australia catastrophe and I felt an urge to participate in the cause,” Casto told KHOU. “If I can make something that will remind them of their mother, that will make me really happy.”

Casto said she primarily needs cotton, such as old sheets.

“They’re in dire need and I’m trying to help in what I can,” she wrote. “These pouches are basically hugging the little animals and one of the things it reminds me of is my son. He always wants me to hug him.”

You can reach out to Amy to donate materials on her Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/alice.casto.794 

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Local businesses are also helping to ship the products to Australia. Hibiscus Linens in Houston claims to be the only Houston-based business offering at the moment.

“I get cheaper shipping rates to Australia as a business,” said owner Mariana Barran de Goodall, who went to grad school in Brisbane.

“They had a problem and they gave us the solution,” said Barran de Goodall. “Over there, nature is among you every day.”

She is offering to ship donated crafts to Australia on her own dime.

‘Why not? There are so many things we spend money on and this is something that is close in my heart,” she said.

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The Animal Rescue Craft Guild is spearheading the effort, offering specifications for making the pouches for any person who wants to help.

“The Animal Rescue Collective has a lot of crafty people, so we created the Craft Guild! Sewing, making, designing and recycling “everything” to make products that help animal rescue. Beds, crates, containers and support equipment to help rescuers,” the group’s “about” section reads.
“The moderators and support team from this page have years of experience and we are grateful for their time to increase the output and help more rescuers!”

The group has more than 150,000 members. All products are free and will be given away on the ARF page or through direct rescue.