Aki James, an Oakland Police Department employee, received her call to action after reading a story about animals rescued by Oakland Animal Services (OAS). As fate would have it, she ran into OAS Director Megan Webb just after having read the story, and, in talking about the animals at the shelter, Megan told her about our small-dog population and how so many of the Chihuahua mixes look similar. Aki offered to knit sweaters for the rescued animals waiting in the shelter for their chance at a new home.
“Individual sweaters could really help the dogs stand out to potential adopters,” Megan told Aki. And Aki was sold.
After speaking with Megan, Aki decided to take it upon herself (and her knitting group, City Stitchers, a knitting group made up of city of Oakland employees) to knit thirty sweaters for the small breed dogs at OAS. A fellow knitter from City Stitchers, and Aki delivered thirty doggie sweaters to Oakland Animal Service on Valentine’s Day. As OAS staff and volunteers brought out several small dogs to try on the sweaters, an impromptu fashion show was under way.
Aki told us that as she knits doggie sweaters, she thinks of the day when every adoptable dog will have a home. It is her dream for animal cruelty and over-breeding to come to an end.
“I dream, stitch by stitch, that my sweater will get each precious little dog adopted,” Aki said. “I am like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. I didn’t hear the magical voice though, but this is my Needle of Dreams. If we knit, they will come . . . to adopt dogs, that is.”