Cassie, a timid but friendly brown stray with bald patches on her coat, was a recent arrival at the Montclair Animal Shelter. The dog, sent to New Jersey from a public pound in the Carolinas, was suffering from mange and stress caused by trying to survive on her own in the woods.
Though deeply frightened when Cassie landed in Montclair, she is now thriving – after receiving close attention and being treated to a medicated bath in the shelter’s newly-installed, heavy gauge stainless-steel dog tub. Carefully groomed and attended to, Cassie is waiting for a family or friend to come by the shelter and take her to a new home.
The brand-new dog bath was presented to the shelter by Montclair Rotary Club and its not-for-profit Foundation. The Rotary joined with the owners of the Trumpets Jazz Club of Montclair as well as private donors and many pet owners. Together, they raised over $6,000 to purchase the badly needed equipment.
Back in June, Rotary joined with the owners of Trumpets to kick off a community-based fundraising effort with a “Jazz Brunch” organized by Rotarian Linda Cranston with Trumpets owners Kristine Massari and Enrico Granafei. Rotary also used the “Go Fund Me” website to collect money for the enterprise. Generous pet lovers made donations and the club also received a $1,000 grant from Rotary District 7475 Foundation.
Shelter professionals said that dog baths are essential to the well-being of homeless canines that are brought to their facilities. Often, homeless, lost or discarded dogs are struggling to survive on the street, in wooded areas or wandering in neighborhoods. Hungry, abused and frightened, these dogs are traumatized. Stray dogs may develop such severe skin conditions as mange, which is caused by tiny mites that burrow into a dog’s skin. A dog with mange is continuously scratching its coat, irritating the underlying skin and eventually wounding itself.
“For homeless dogs living outdoors,” said Montclair Animal Shelter Executive Director Liz Morgan, “the scratching often leads to small cuts on the skin. These cuts will get infected and these stray dogs are facing multi-health issues.”
For years, the shelter’s prior tub sat unused for years, corroded with leaks and filled with laundry. Each year, more pressing needs prevailed in the shelter budget, Morgan said. In the summer, staff hosed down dogs in a space behind the shelter. In cold weather, dogs requiring medicated baths had to be transported to Cameron Animal Hospital in Montclair for washing.
“This is an absolutely amazing dog bath and it’s going to last for years,” Morgan said.
“I wanted our shelter to have a well designed tub that would not corrode” said Linda Cranston. “Our shelter now has a tub our grandchildren can use to care for our best little friends.”