$7.6M to support animal shelter improvements | Greene County

$7.6M to support animal shelter improvements | Greene County

ALBANY — Local animal shelters have an opportunity to get a shot in the arm from funding in a new round of state grants.

Gov, Kathy Hochul on Monday announced $7.6 million is available to support animal shelters and humane societies in making critical upgrades at New York’s animal shelters.

This is the fifth round of funding for New York State’s Companion Animal Capital Fund, the first state-funded program in the nation to provide for shelter improvement projects. Funded projects will enhance animal care and help to ensure adoptions for New York’s dogs and cats.

The Companion Animal Capital Fund originated with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and has developed into “a fantastic program,” Columbia-Greene Humane Society President and CEO Ron Perez said Monday.

The Columbia-Greene Humane Society may apply for a grant this year, Perez said.

“We’re pursuing a plan to expand our veterinary care services and spay-neuter services,” Perez said. Funding would augment the Humane Society’s Health Wellness program that offers low-cost veterinary care and other minor medical treatment to low-income households.

Monday’s announcement brings the total dedicated to the program to more than $27.5 million since 2017. To date under the program, 58 projects have been awarded across the state and 26 projects have been fully completed.

In 2022, Hochul included the Companion Animal Capital Fund in her proposed Executive Budget, a first for the program and a demonstration of her continued commitment to New York’s companion animals. In the proposed 2023 New York State budget, the program received a historic $8 million for its next round.

Administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Companion Animal Capital Fund provides matching grants to shelters and humane societies to offset the costs associated with capital projects, such as renovating dog kennels, improving medical facilities or building more efficient shelters to reduce overall operational costs.

Funds are also used to construct, renovate, rehabilitate or acquire buildings or equipment needed to house, treat and care for sheltered dogs and cats. The Department selects grant recipients based on a need assessment, detailed project description and reasonableness of cost.

Two Requests for Proposals have been established in Round 5, according to the Governor’s office:

■ $6.6 million is available to award grants between $50,000 and $500,000 to municipal and incorporated nonprofit pounds, shelters and humane societies. Entities that have been awarded funds during previous Companion Animal Capital Fund opportunities are eligible to apply for an award under this RFP. Previously funded projects must be complete before an entity can apply for an award.

■ $1 million is available to award grants between $50,000 and $200,000 to pounds, shelters or humane societies that are not operated by or under contract with a municipality but that are registered with the Department.

The Companion Animal Capital Fund has been instrumental in helping New York’s shelters implement critical improvement projects so more animals can be rescued, state Sen. Michelle Hinchey said Monday in a statement.

“Our local animal shelters are safe havens for defenseless animals, and as Senate Agriculture Chair and a new rescue cat mom, I’m incredibly supportive of our local animal shelters and thrilled that this latest round of grant funding is now available to help keep animals safe as they await their forever homes.”

Round 5 will add to the 51 shelters and countless animals that have benefited from the funding, said Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation.

“When the Companion Animal Capital Fund began, we knew it would make a real difference at animal shelters throughout the state,” Post said. “With the awards from this RFP, New York will have invested $28 million to improve the lives of homeless companion animals who are cared for in a shelter.”

The funding program will continue to make a difference for New York’s shelters and humane societies, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said Monday.

“The Department has celebrated the completion of projects at animal shelters across New York and seen the impact of our Companion Animal Capital Fund program,” he said. “Through the previous four rounds, we have helped our dogs and cats have safer, happier stays in shelters as they await their forever homes.”

New, expanded or renovated shelters will allow humane societies to continue providing homeless animals with the highest quality care while they await adoption, Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Donna Lupardo said.

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$7.6M to support animal shelter improvements | Greene County

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