Op Ed: Let's Work Together To Help Animals In Montclair

A plea to keep an alliance of animal shelters in Montclair, Bloomfield and Glen Ridge, for the good of the animals

This is an op-ed article submitted Friday by Sandra Reynolds, an attorney and founder of the Animal Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation.

A Montclair resident, she is the founder of the Montclair TNR non-profit program for the protection of animals and president of the local non-profit organization, HUMANEmontclair. 


Glen Ridge has cancelled its animal control contract with Montclair and may go with Bloomfield.  Township Manager Marc Dashield stated that Montclair will offer a counterproposal with the goal of keeping the contract.  How about if we stop competing to help animals and  work together?  By joining forces, Montclair and Bloomfield can cooperate to handle animal control and sheltering for both our towns plus Glen Ridge.  There is much to be gained by an alliance of the two shelters:

       1. Maddie's Fund, a charitable organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless dogs and cats, has already given out grants totaling over $92 million.  In Fiscal Year 2009-2010, Maddie's Fund awarded $11.4 million through 156 grants in 42 states and the District of Columbia.  To be eligible for a Community Collaborative grant, the population served must be a minimum of 100,000.  If Montclair, Bloomfield, and Glen Ridge joined together, that number would probably be met.  If not, the addition of Nutley or Verona could be considered.  Why not???? 

For communities who make the commitment to saving lives, Maddie's Fund is helping to make that happen.  We should be part of this.  Visit  www.maddiesfund.org to  read more about their work.


        2.  If we devote the Montclair facility to cats and the Bloomfield facility to dogs, we could have savings through easier administration. PLUS, imagine how wonderful those facilities could be!!!  There would be a lot of excitement created which would draw volunteers and community support.  They could become the "go to" places for adoptions for miles around.

Please contact the Mayor, your councilperson, and the Township Manager. We can do better for the animals than competing to see who can do the job for less.


To support the "new" look for animals in Montclair and Bloomfield, here are some email addresses you can write to, to express your support.



Jerry Fried (Mayor):  jfried@montclairnjusa.org

Marc D. Dashield (Manager):  townshipmanager@montclairnjusa.org

Council Members Kathryn Weller Deming (DeputyMayor):  


Roger Terry (Councilor-At Large):  


Rich Murnick (First Ward Councilor): 


Cary Africk (Second Ward Councilor):  


Nick Lewis (Third Ward Councilor):  


Renee E. Baskerville, MD (Fourth Ward Councilor):  


Cary Africk July 09, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Sandy approached the Council over a week ago with this wonderful idea! I wrote back to her indicating I would most certainly support this effort! I wrote to several other Councilors, but heard back from no one. The issues need to be addressed. Montclair invested a sizable amount of money to refurbish the animal shelter, but from an operating expense point of view we do not have a firm numbers on what we are spending. Whatever that amount is, Sandy's suggestions would most likely make that expense smaller while potentially delivering a higher quality of service! Her ideas, like many ideas from knowledgeable residents, need to be taken seriously by the Township. Cary Africk
Carol Selman July 10, 2011 at 12:41 PM
First, we all owe a great debt to Sandra Reynolds for her energy, initatives and hard work. It is vital that Montclair lead the way in enlightened help for homeless animals and meaningful cooperation among communities is vital and forward looking.
Linda Federico-O'Murchu July 10, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Thx for your thoughtful replies, Carol and Cary. It would be nice if Montclair, Bloomfield and Glen Ridge could join forces to effect a positive result for all 3 communities.
Laura Federico July 13, 2011 at 07:36 PM
As a former Montclair resident who now lives on Essex Avenue, the dividing line Glen Ridge and Bloomfield, I have an interest in the welfare of animals in all three communities! Thank you, Sandy. I'd also like to suggest a few speed bumps/stop signs on Essex Avenue, a poorly paved street that encourages speeding and swerving, and has resulted in several animals being killed by drivers.


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