Montclair Is Home To A New Advocacy Group For Animal Rights

Montclair, NJ – Humane Montclair, a new organization with the mission to promote animal welfare and environment friendly initiatives throughout Montclair, while raising awareness of issues that impact animal welfare, people and the planet, launches this weekend at Montclair’s Pride Festival.

The founder of Humane Montclair is Annette Batson, who has been part of Baristanet since its inception. As a Humane Policy Leader Volunteer (HPLV) of the Humane Society of New Jersey, Batson wanted to heighten awareness of issues impacting animals affect us all, and how towns like Montclair can help enact change.

Part of Humane Montclair’s mission is to partner with community groups to create animal and environmentally friendly initiatives throughout Montclair.

Humane Montclair will advocate to enact animal welfare ordinances and regulations that protect all animals. Community outreach will highlight and promote pet-friendly businesses, restaurants and implement local initiatives, and provide information on the connection of animal welfare to health, environmental, and social justice issues. The project will partner with, and leverage the resources of existing community stakeholders to carry out its mission, such as Montclair BID, and Friends Of Montclair Animal Shelter (FOMTAS).

Humane Montclair’s first event will be on June 11, 2022, 12-6 p.m., as part of the town’s first ever Pride Festival. Come with your pets to taste a flight of vegan dog treats, then get them microchipped and registered!

Representatives of Humane Montclair will staff a pet-friendly booth at Out Montclair’s Pride Festival, alongside the Montclair Township Animal Shelter and FOMTAS. There will be vegan people snacks, a dog treat tasting bar courtesy of Lord James Organic Dog Treats and Petaluma, and a watering rest station for pet owners and their 4-legged friends. Bring your pets for on-site pet microchipping and pet registration (bring original copies of pets’ vaccine records), exhibits, and more.  Come meet Animal Control Supervisor Michele Shiber (who looks after Montclair’s pets and rescues bears, among her many responsibilities) and learn how to adopt a pet.

Humane Montclair is grateful for the generous event day contributions from Brookdale ShopRite, FAT BADGER BAKERY, PETALUMA dog food,  L&B Healthy Pet Markets, Paradox Brewery, MARS Petcare, and the Peace Advocacy Network.

How Humane Montclair Came To Be

The concept for the Humane Montclair initiative started with three women who share a passion for animals – Batson and fellow HPLV member FOMTAS president Karen Sacks, and New Jersey Humane Society Director Elissa Frank. After a few meetings, the pilot program was born.

“While working on state level legislative support, I was inspired to take action for change at the local level that could address the ‘big picture’ and  connect the dots between pets, animal welfare, climate change, the environment, public health and social justice,” says Batson. “I came up with framework of local initiatives to include events, policy, and education that would both raise awareness and raise the town’s profile as a progressive leader in animal welfare and the related environmental issues.”

“We are excited to introduce this campaign of connection to the community and I am overjoyed at the positive response and collaboration I’ve gotten from residents, local businesses, and organizations such as Montclair BID, Montclair Township Animal Shelter, FOMTAS, HSUS, animal advocate Senator Raymond Lesniak and The Lesniak Foundation, Better Cities for Pets, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund,” says Batson, who adds that the pilot program is conceived to be accessible, actionable, and scalable to other communities.

Councilman Peter Yacobellis, also deeply connected to the animal world, has been a supporter of the Humane Montclair since its inception.

“I feel what I’d consider a spiritual connection to animals; animals teach us unconditional love and joy. By hobby, I’m a wildlife photographer; now as an elected official, I want to do everything in my power to improve animal welfare through public policy. I’m excited to be working with this group of extraordinary women, including my Council colleague, Robin Schlager, to pursue changes in law.”


Contact to receive more information and updates. To volunteer with Humane Montclair, click here to register.


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