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Montclair Township Animal Shelter: Disaster Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We are so grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for the generous grant, which helped our animals recover from a devastating fire to our shelter building on April 3, 2016. We used the money to help cover emergency and ongoing veterinary care for fire survivors, as well as to provide assistance to families who agreed to foster our animals. Many remain in foster care and the Petfinder Foundation grant helps to ensure that they will not be placed into a less-secure home due to the financial inability of foster families to care for them.

Horrifically, the Montclair Township Animal Shelter experienced a serious fire that started in the back of the shelter, near the dog runs. Due to the amazing bravery and strength of our volunteers, staff, and town first responders and good Samaritans, all the animals were saved. However, many suffered health issues from the fire, some of which were extensive, and all of which were expensive. The Petfinder Foundation Disaster Grant ensured that all of our animals continued to survive post-fire. The grant helped to pay for their care, as well as their upkeep in their foster homes, and for their continuing medical needs.

How many pets did this grant help?

There were approximately 100 animals in the shelter at the time of the fire. Approximately 30 remain in foster care and the grant continues to provide for their medical care. Approximately 15 needed emergency and/or immediate help post-fire. In one way or another, the grant helped all of them. We continue to conduct clinics in our temporary space for those animals remaining in foster so as not to burden the foster families, and thank the Petfinder Foundation for helping us to continue to ensure the health and safety of our animals until they find their forever homes.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

When the fire broke out, there was a litter of puppies in the back kennel, tragically close to where the fire started. Miraculously, all the puppies and Mom were saved. One puppy, Julie Bell, was originally under a doctor’s care post-fire, but then she was released to foster care and seemed fine. However, she was so young, and after being placed in foster care, her health deteriorated. Her foster mom called the shelter in its temporary, emergency facility and reported that Julie Bell was having trouble breathing. She brought Julie Bell in, and she was immediately transferred to the emergency animal hospital with complications from smoke inhalation.

An x-ray revealed smoke-related issues in her lungs and we didn’t know if Julie Bell would make it. She was put in an oxygen tent and could not breath on her own for several days. The smoke-related damage turned into pneumonia and everyone was worried as Julie Bell literally fought for her life for several days on emergency antibiotics and oxygen. Finally, she was able to breath on her own, and now, happily, this brave baby is fully recovered and officially adopted by her foster family! Thank you so much, Petfinder Foundation, for giving our Julie Bell, fire survivor, literally a new chance at life.

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