“The Rescue Rebuild team traveled to Montclair, NJ, to remodel two cat rooms at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter (MTAS). A fire ravaged this shelter back in 2016, forcing an animal evacuation and setting off a long-running recovery effort. Thankfully, the staff, volunteers and surrounding community members were able to get every single cat and dog safely out, totaling 72 animals! What an incredible miracle. There was significant damage to the building, especially to the kennels. While they were able to rehabilitate their dog kennels in under two months, their cat areas were still in need of upgrades and renovations.
“MTAS has two existing cat rooms; one larger cat adoptions room and one smaller one right next door. The smaller of the rooms were not being utilized to its fullest potential, as it wasn’t simple for potential adopters to go from one room to the other. This made it so that the second room of cats rarely got the attention that the first room did. This is where Rescue Rebuild came in and helped provide a new vision and plan. The only thing standing in the way between the two rooms was a wall and the storage closet.
“In typical Rescue Rebuild fashion, we thought…let’s put a hole in the wall and connect the two rooms! Easy peasy. And just like that…there was no wall. The team added a glass door between the two adoption rooms, making it so you could see from one room to the other. Both rooms were utterly catified. Shelving, cubbies, bridges and scratchers galore! These newly designed rooms allow the cats to have time in their kennels but also to be out in the open space. They can bask in the sunshine by the windows or find a perch up high and nap. The cats will be happier, healthier and more adoption-friendly, as their social skills with both other cats and people increase.
“The shelter also has a wonderful children’s reading program where children on the autistic spectrum can come and read out loud to the cats. This program gives children the chance to practice their reading skills in front of a furry, eager, non-judgmental audience. The children aren’t the only ones benefiting…the cats become better socialized too! Before the Rescue Rebuild team got to Montclair, the rooms did not have many seating options for the kids and their parents. Now each of the rooms has plenty of seating and benches for both the kids to read and potential adopters to socialize with the cats!”
– The Rescue Rebuild team