The Humane Society of the United States has donated money for two air conditioning units to ease conditions for hundreds of dogs and cats at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter.
The shelter has an antiquated air conditioning system that does not work at full capacity, making it uncomfortable and possibly dangerous for the pets being housed at the shelter.
The donation from the Humane Society will pay to rent to air conditioning units for the next six weeks until the shelter’s new permanent unit is installed.
The shelter at 77 Willow Street was waiting for a new central air conditioning system, according to Melissa Neiss, senior animal control officer. In the meantime, she told Patch on Wednesday that the shelter was doing the best it could during a week when temperatures have been climbing to the mid-90s.
"There are some units around the shelter where the dogs are kept that have been on loan to us thanks to volunteers so the dogs are fine," she said. "And the fans are going 24 hours a day where the cats are kept and there also are ice packs in the cat cages to keep them as cool as possible.
Although capital funding was approved to have the old air condioning system replaced, preparatory work for a new system had been taking weeks to complete. The facility's lack of windows or other ventilation caused some animals heat distress.
“The Humane Society of the United States is thankful we were able to help,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for the organization. “Some animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. The HSUS also reminds Montclair residents to keep their pets indoors as much as possible until the intensive heat wave subsides.”
Click here for more information about keeping pets cool during the summer.
Neiss explained that the old central air conditioning system was outdated and barely functioning. "This is a capital item so there had to be a bidding process done," she said. "The unit is coming and should be in within a week or two we hope."It will take some time to get it hooked up though," she said.
The Montclair Animal Shelter is run by the township and services animals for Montclair, Verona, and Nutley. You can reach the shelter at 973-744-8600 or at mtas.petfinder.com or via facebook.com/MontclairAnimalShelter.
A group called Friends of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter was recently organized with the help of volunteers to try to raise money to help improve animal welfare.
The group is hosting a summer celebration on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. outside the shelter that will include food, music, kids' activities, and the chance to adopt a dog for only $70 and a cat for only $50.