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): firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc D. Dashield (Manager): email@example.com
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):