It was a rainy morning as I pulled up to the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, a large and dreary building located on North Willow Street in Montclair, New Jersey.
Upon entering, I was greeted with an organized and bright lobby, as well as the cheerful faces of the volunteers. Here, I met with Jennifer McMillan, the volunteer coordinator at the shelter.
McMillan has donated countless hours, days and years of her time to the shelter with no intentions of stopping.
“I work here full time, and I volunteer here as much as I can,” McMillan said.
McMillan is in charge of all the cat adoptions. She has made it her duty to make sure every cat is sent home with the right owner and every owner is given the perfect cat to meet their needs.
The shelter currently has a wide variety of cats that are up for adoption. Whether someone is looking for a house cat, a cat that is good with kids, a cat that is good with other pets or a cat that needs some extra love and care, the shelter can provide this for them.
The shelter also keeps track of community cats, like our beloved campus cat Misty, whom students may remember from before her removal from campus. Community cats live outdoors and have been neutered, vaccinated and returned to the wild. Luckily for Misty, the shelter deemed her “adoptable” and set her up with a loving home in November 2018.
Just like Misty, other cats are waiting for their fur-ever homes. McMillian shared that volunteering actually makes a difference.
“Volunteering here is amazing,” McMillan said. “You really can make a difference in the lives of the animals at the shelter”.
Alexia Darby, a senior communication and media arts major, visited the shelter back in November.
“I really think the animal shelter takes amazing care for the animals and they give them an amazing amount of love,” Darby said. “Going there, I was worried if the shelter had good living conditions, but they do.”
Since Darby’s visit, she has grown fond of one of the cats, and is even considering adopting one.
Sometimes all it takes is a visit, so consider visiting the shelter. Anyone who is looking to make a big impact in the life of a shelter animal can always consider adopting or even fostering. You might just find a fur-ever friend!
To see my interview with Jennifer McMillan, some more of the cuddly cats up for adoption and to find out how you can help the shelter, go to The Montclarion’s YouTube page.