If you haven't looked at the snuggle website, check it out....http://www.snugglesproject.org/
It's also where you can find an organization near you to donate to.
They show other stitches on the site, so it would be ok. I think that we were just doing garter stitch because it was quick and easy....especially for beginners to be included. That's how I jumped into the oddballs...because I figured a puppy/kitty wouldn't care if I messed up.
I'm all for trying some new stitches...as long as they're ok with the project rules.