Montclair Animal Shelter Volunteers and Staff Step Up Adoption Efforts

Animal Shelter Volunteers & Staff Step Up Adoption Efforts
Nancy Willis with Tiger who was adopted and renamed Tony by is new family.

Thanks to the combined efforts of volunteers and staff at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, 27 dogs have found homes during the past several weeks. Volunteers rallied behind adoption events, dog-walking, pet socialization, and other efforts to help shelter animals get adopted into loving homes. The volunteer efforts are especially important for the animals, as the shelter has been criticized for mismanagement and neglect in the past several months and the facility’s manager  resigned last month.

Shelter volunteer and Montclair local Nancy Willis spearheaded a major adoption campaign for dogs. She organized weekly outings to the Montclair Farmers’ Market with volunteers and shelter dogs so that the animals could be more visible and be able to interact with the public.

“We really wanted to get some of our dogs out in the fresh air where people gather so that folks could come and meet them and find out what truly wonderful and friendly companions they would make,” said Willis.

Willis had bright yellow t-shirts made for the volunteers and Montclair resident and professional photographer Eric Delmar provided his services to produce beautiful portraits of the Shelter’s cats and dogs. Shelter volunteer Noel Sedransk donated graphic design and printing costs to make posters that are being displayed in establishments around town.

“It was just amazing to see how many people rallied around our efforts and came out to help,” said Willis. “What was even more gratifying was the reaction from those who stopped by to meet our dogs – they simply fell in love! Just as we knew they would.”

In addition, Caz Rosson was recently hired to be the Shelter Volunteer Coordinator. “Caz is well on the way to making some very positive changes that will further the good work of the volunteers,” said Health Department Director Sue Portuese. “She has some really great ideas that we’re looking forward implementing to help our animals and our staff.”

“I am truly astonished and pleased not only that we have so many terrific people who raised their hands to help our animals, their dedication and efforts are a such a tremendous asset to what we hope to achieve at the Shelter moving forward,” said Rosson.

One of Rosson’s first tasks was to organize volunteer duties, nominating team leaders for various shelter responsibilities: cats, dogs, media, events, and administration.

“Having well-defined roles not only makes for clear objectives, it provides much greater direction and accountability to ensure that all our animals’ needs are seen to,” said Rosson. “We have some extraordinary people who gladly stepped up to the plate to take on these leadership roles and they will help me with coordinating all of our activities.”

In addition to the Farmers’ Market events, the Shelter hosted the second annual fundraiser “Zombie Dog Walk of the Dead,” organized by Anthony Muzikar of Pet adoption events were held at the Upper Montclair Sidewalk Sale and Anthropologie on Bloomfield Avenue. Volunteers have also stepped up a social media and TV34 pet spotlight campaign to ensure the animals get maximum visibility on all media. Additional events are planned, such as dog and cat adoption Saturdays at Petco in West Orange and resuming volunteer evening walks with shelter dogs.

The Montclair Animal Shelter continues to accept volunteer applications and will host more weekly orientations in the weeks to come. For more in formation, email here.

(Photo credit: Eric Delmar)


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  1. It’s good to see someinnovative ideas- and to see animals going out to adoption events. In Bloomfield we’re losing hope- bergen Humane was awarded their bid rfor shelter and animal control services but then didn’t start because of some civil service issues (per our town council- but of course no one has provided any details.

    Now we’re being told that she Bloomfield shelter will be inspected for code violations and that BGergen Humane may start on November 15th.

    I remember that the heating and cooling systems at the Montclair shelter were a problem- as well a major leaks in the roof- have thiose issues been fixed?

  2. The volunteers are back at MTAS! I know they were given a two week or so hiatus. How I hope they’re all back and all hands are on deck. You can never have too many volunteers at an animal shelter. Best of luck to all. Meanwhile, keep a good thought for the Bloomfield shelter. We’re still waiting.

  3. Sadly, it seems not all of the previous volunteers are back. Only a select few. Shades of the Bloomfield shelter. It’s who you know, not what you Why do people feel threatened by others, especially those veteran municipal shelter volunteers who have more than proven their commitment, responsibility, dedication and experience? When will the egos and power trips (power over what? homeless animals no one wants?) give way to accepting and embracing everyone who wants to help and who can help?

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