Adoption Spotlight: Chris McManus, Lauren Nissenblatt and Bailey

Heroes come in many forms and at Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter they are comprised of our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, and kindhearted individuals who help sustain our efforts. Through their support, we can uphold our mission to provide our pets with wonderful care in their time at our shelter before they are adopted into safe and loving homes.

Chris McManus and Lauren Nissenblatt came to our shelter in the autumn of 2018. They felt room in their hearts for a dog in their life and the time was right. They had both owned dogs as children, but this would be their first dog as a couple together. After doing some online research for local animal shelters, they came across several of the larger shelters in North New Jersey. Further down the list, they happened upon Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter’s website and there was something about us—perhaps our smaller size or our homey feel—that appealed to them.

It was love at first sight.

They stopped by for a visit and fell in love with an Australian Cattle Dog/German Shepard named Bebe, whose sad eyes and shy nature melted their hearts. Chris tells us that, “she was quietly sitting in the corner of her kennel and was the only dog who didn’t bark at them.” It was right then that they knew this quiet girl was worth a meet and greet. All went well, so they happily adopted her, later crowning her with a new name, Bailey.

The couple reached out to us recently to let us know how wonderful Bailey is doing. By their description, we have learned that she has really blossomed in their loving home. And like most dogs, she is a big fan of FOOD. She has been known to peek through dad’s arm while they are eating, staring longingly at the dinner plate as if to say, “I’m not a dog; I’m a little girl!” She loves mom and dad equally but knows exactly where to go when she is in the mood for something specific. If she is in the mood for an extra-long walk, she trots on over to mom for a nudge. If her tummy is rumbling and she is craving some extra snacks, she moseys on over to dad who she is pretty sure will oblige!

Bailey is pretty much up for anything, enjoying outings to the beach, walks around the park, or cuddling in bed to watch tv and play with her toys, especially “Lambchop!” It sounds like a family indeed. Chris went on to say “There is truly nothing in the world like getting a greeting from Bailey after working all day. She stands at the top of the stairs and wants to run down and great you. Once she finally gets to you and tosses her body on you and demands to be pet and will lick your face. It’s truly the greatest feeling in the world after a long day working just to spend our paychecks on her (treats and toys and more treats)!”

This Happy Tail has not always been smooth sailing though. Some time ago, Bailey was diagnosed with epilepsy which means she has occasional seizures. Her condition is sometimes stressful but is managed through a couple of medications that keep her balanced.

Advice to others considering pet adoption.

When asked for their advice for others who might be considering pet adoption Chris and Lauren felt that, “people should be aware that pet ownership is a full-time commitment and comes with a good amount of financial responsibility.” They go on to say, “There are a lot of good times, and great memories to be made with your future pet, however, if you can’t afford to take care of them when they are sick, you should really think twice on ownership. Also please view your pet as a family member. Once you do it changes your perspective altogether.”

Paying their found happiness forward.

Chris and Lauren are truly loving parents and wished to share the love they have found through pet adoption with others. In January they hosted a Facebook fundraiser for Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter that helped raise funds needed to support and care for the animals at our shelter. They even took the initiative to sponsor Tabitha, one of our long-term dogs in the kennel. She is a beautiful three-year-old Australian shepherd who is often overlooked because of her anxiety and behavior challenges. She needs a special kind of person to adopt her, but once she trusts, she is your best friend. Chris and Lauren are committed to helping our Tabitha find her forever home.

Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter expresses its sincerest thanks to Chris and Lauren for being passionate advocates for what we do. In sharing their story, they hope to inspire others. Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter is so much more than adoptions. The shelter has many volunteers who foster animals, socialize with them, and who provide much-needed support to the staff at the shelter and at its events. Learn more about how you can support the shelter at


You too can support the mission of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter and help support animals like Bailey and Tabitha. Watch the video below to learn how to create your own Facebook fundraiser. It is easy to do. Click here to set up your Facebook fundraiser now.