MONTCLAIR, NJ - In anticipation of Montclair Animal Shelter’s big upcoming adoption event from August 14-16, volunteers were at Montclair’s Farmer’s Market Saturday raising awareness of the nationwide “Clear the Shelters” endeavor.
NBC and Telemundo Television Station Group are sponsoring a televised event on August 15 in which the fees for adoption will be waived.
On Saturday, six baby kittens from Montclair Animal Shelter drew a huge crowd at the farmer’s market. Julia Campos, age 8, was also selling lemonade to raise funds to help feed and house the cats Montclair Shelter has up for adoption at their facility.
Posters publicized the adoption event in several Montclair businesses. Professional photographs of cats in prison uniforms lined the windows of several local businesses such as The Corner, Whole Foods and many of the businesses on Walnut Street. They are calling it “Black is the New Orange” to draw attention to how many animals are in shelters hoping to break out and be adopted into a loving home.
Kennel attendant, Chris Morello, said, “The adoption process is straightforward. Applicants provide a personal reference, a vet’s reference if they own another pet, and either proof of home ownership or documentation of the landlord’s pet policy, such as a signed lease, showing pets are permitted. “He added, “For those who cannot own a pet but wish to help, there are many ways to do so. From filling out paperwork, dropping off donations of toys and food, to petting or brushing animals or even selling lemonade, anyone can help if they desire.”
A passerby, Katherine Underwood, who bought a 4-year-old cat at Montclair Animal Shelter 11 years ago, said, “At the time, my 7-year-old son picked her out. Many people want kittens but we took home a grown cat. We loved her so much. She lived until this year.” After discussing the requisite paperwork with a representative of the shelter, and falling in love with a kitten whose pearly white paws matched his nose, Underwood went home with a new baby kitten the very same day.
Sarah Sohl who moved to Montclair from Williamsburg NY, was holding her newborn as her toddler admired the kittens in the cage while sipping his lemonade. Sohl said, “Now that we moved to a house here in Montclair we finally have space for an animal.”
California native and South Orange resident Keri Siry, with her daughter Gemma were also on hand to help with the adoption process. Siry said they volunteer for the shelter and her daughter draws cats, pictures which they sell, on their Etsy site.
Keri said, “Today we delivered a $260 check thanks to a local cat named Justin Fire Survivor, whose mom reached out to my daughter to support the cause on her Facebook page. We sold out of pictures right away!”
Steve Starbuck, who said he was “in the market for a dog”, made a donation to the shelter, as well. He reassured Campos who hoped to please with her lemonade, when he said, “I was attracted to the lemonade stand even before I even saw the cute kitties”.
The proceeds of the lemonade stand, $87.25, went straight to the shelter. Campos said, “My mom is allergic to cats so we can’t help inside the shelter. We decided to help here. I did pet them today though. I love them all. I wish I could adopt them all!.”
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The Montclair Township Animal Shelter is located at 77 North Willow Street. For more information, you may also contact Montclair Animal Shelter Director Nicole Dawson or Kennel Attendant Chris Morello at 973-744-8600.