MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to the following release, the MTAS, FOMTAS sign agreement to further benefit shelter's animals.

Mia, a lovable five-year-old Chihuaua, is running and playing pain-free thanks to support from the Friends of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter (FOMTAS) and shelter staff.

Mia was surrendered to the Montclair Township Animal Shelter (MTAS) with her Pit Bull brother Bronson earlier this year. Shelter staff noticed straight away that Mia had a serious problem with one of her hind legs. A diagnosis showed a grade 4 luxating patella, or dislocated kneecap that can cause severe pain and swelling. Mia would need to see an orthopedic specialist and surgery would be required.

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“Thanks to the generous support from FOMTAS, Mia was able to undergo surgery,” said acting MTAS Director Liz Morgan. “She followed all post-surgery physical rehab instruction and is once again ‘four on the floor’ and has a pain-free life. What a wonderful gift for this little girl.”

Since its founding in 2012, FOMTAS has provided funds to support extraordinary medical expenses of MTAS animals such as Mia. The 501(c)3 organization has also provided funding for education materials for the public; food, supplies and training assistance for the shelter animals being fostered; traps for feral cats to be trapped, neutered and then released (TNR); and other costs not covered by the shelter’s budget.

The arrangement between the MTAS and FOMTAS was formalized by resolution at the November 13 Township Council meeting by authorizing the Township to enter into a two-year agreement with the non-profit.

In 2017 FOMTAS provided $30,000 in financial support to the shelter. Funds were raised through a gala event, grant writing, crowdfunding, and supporting and encouraging third party fundraisers. Some of the money went toward supplemental staff – the organization hired a summer intern college student and a short-term veterinary technician for the shelter. The funds also helped cover medical expenses, equipment and supplies, the cost of adoption fees for free adoption events, transport fees to bring animals to the shelter, and outside consultants, such as a behaviorist, hired to work with some of the animals.

"FOMTAS is enormously grateful to the Council for formalizing our relationship with the Township and the shelter,” said FOMTAS President Karen Sacks. “This arrangement will allow us to devote the funds we have raised thus far to key shelter initiatives and kick-start our fundraising for other planned projects. We look forward to continuing to work with Liz Morgan – a true leader in animal welfare – the shelter's talented staff, and town officials, to help the deserving homeless animals in our town."

Under the agreement the Township is still responsible for shelter operations, including care and maintenance of the shelter building, hiring staff and for services and expenses for day-to-day sheltering and animal control operations. These include basic food and medicine, animal care, cleaning, office equipment and supplies.

FOMTAS, to the extent it is financially able, will continue to support and enhance shelter operations by continuing to cover extraordinary medical expenses, equipment and supply needs, as well as recruiting volunteers and producing shelter programming.

FOMTAS programs could include community outreach events, fundraising efforts, hosting adoption events; pet health and vaccination clinics; pet training classes; animal visits to nursing homes, senior centers and hospitals; collaboration with service dog agencies for training or matching shelter animals with special needs populations (such as veterans and people with disabilities); establishing a pet loss support group; and providing lectures on animal welfare topics.

And Mia’s story has an even happier ending – Mia and Bronson both found forever homes, thanks to FOMTAS support and the efforts of MTAS staff.

The Montclair Animal Shelter also serves Nutley and Verona.