Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eagle Scout Project Rejuvenates Shelter Dog Yard

Eagle Scout candidate Cliff Lindholm holds puppy with Niki Dawson
Eagle Scout candidate Cliff Lindholm holds a shelter puppy
The Montclair Township Animal Shelter (MTAS) relies on volunteers to help with a number of tasks throughout its two-story building – from walking dogs, to painting walls to doing laundry. While these chores are done by a series of volunteers every day, there are longer-term projects that require continuity in leadership and a longer commitment. One such project was the restoration of the yard and the outdoor dog runs.

Stepping up to take on this challenge was 17-year old high school senior and Eagle Scout candidate, Clifford Lindholm. After meeting MTAS Director Niki Dawson, Clifford thought the shelter and its canine residents would benefit from a revitalized yard.

"What the shelter does is important and I thought there was a need to help them,” said Clifford.
Requiring several visits and many volunteers, this considerable endeavor included removing overgrown trees and shrubbery, pulling weeds from the perimeter of the yard, painting the railing, removing debris and, most notably, putting a new roof on the outdoor dog runs.

The nearly 50-member team working with Clifford from mid-June to early August included volunteers from the scouting community, his friends and his family.

Clifford’s strong leadership and unwavering dedication was evident throughout the duration of the project and was pivotal to its success.

“He worked very hard to get volunteers to help out…and he was very organized and worked well with everyone,” said one volunteer.

When asked what was the hardest part of this project during the course of two summer months, Clifford said, "It required a lot of coordinating of the work and the volunteers."

“The MTAS is proud to be the beneficiary of this extraordinary young man’s quest to reach Eagle Scout,” said Niki.

Eagle Scout is the highest honor a scout can earn, an accomplishment attained by about four percent of the boys who enter scouting nationwide. Among the requirements to reach that prestigious level is an extensive service project planned, organized, led and managed by the candidate.

“We would gladly welcome any teenager who’d like to take on this type of project for credit, internship or award,” said Niki. “Such projects are win-win scenarios for the project leader and our animals.”

The Montclair Township Animal Shelter is located at 77 North Willow Street, Montclair, NJ 07042. The shelter opens at 12:00 p.m. seven days a week, closing at 4:00 p.m. every day except Tuesday and Wednesday when it closes at 6:00 p.m. The Shelter provides Animal Control services to Montclair, Verona and Nutley.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Black is the New Orange" a Great Success for MTAS Inmates

The Montclair Township Animal Shelter’s (MTAS) hugely successful three-day “Black is the New Orange” adoption campaign for the nation-wide “Clear the Shelters” effort saw a total of 54 adoptions: 33 cats and three dogs went to forever homes during the weekend and another 18 dogs will be taken home this week – all thanks to the hard work and dedication of shelter staff and volunteers.
The Chain Gang

“They are truly a dream team,” said Shelter Director Niki Dawson. “I can’t thank everyone enough for the countless hours they devoted to ensure the campaign would succeed in finding homes for such a large number of our animals.”

MTAS joined shelters across the country on August 15 in a nationwide effort to place homeless pets in forever homes. The Montclair shelter went several steps further by hosting a three-day "Black is the New Orange" campaign in an effort to break its animal "inmates" out of their cages, into the homes of loving adopters.

Volunteers and staff dressed in orange prison jumpsuits and the shelter waived its adoption fees for the duration of the campaign. Posters, postcards, window panels and print ads picturing cats in prison garb were used to spread the word about “Black is the New Orange.”

“And word really got out,” said Niki. “The foot traffic alone was tremendous. The campaign not only helped to find homes for our pets but also shone a spotlight on the shelter – more people now know who we are and what we do,” she said. 

Visit the Montclair Township Animal Shelter and perhaps you too will find your BFF. The shelter is located at 77 North Willow Street, Montclair. Hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesday's 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact the shelter at 973-744-8600.

Photo: Eric Delmar

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

MTAS Highlighted on NBC 4 New York

MTAS Volunteer Coordinator Karen Shinevar joins Chris Glorioso on NBC 4 New York to talk about the shelter's mission, pet adoption and the upcoming Clear the Shelters initiative that is taking place on August 15 nationwide and August 14 through 16 in Montclair. See the video.

Karen Shinevar talks to NBC's Chris Glorioso