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Hochul announces more than $6 million available for animal shelter improvement projects


Mon, Nov 22nd 2021 11:25 am

Companion Animal Capital Fund is first state-funded program in nation to support critical improvement projects at animal shelters

√ Round 4 of Companion Animal Capital Fund continues support of construction, renovation & expansion projects

√ For first time, organizations that have already completed projects are eligible to apply again

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced more than $6 million is available to support critical upgrades at New York's animal shelters. This is the fourth round of funding for New York's Companion Animal Capital Fund, which helps eligible organizations to make major improvements to their facilities to enhance animal care and health. For the first time, shelters that have previously been awarded funding through this program and that have completed their projects are eligible to apply again. Additionally, a portion of the funds is dedicated to organizations in regions where there is insufficient shelter capacity for pets.

"During the pandemic, the number of pet adoptions skyrocketed, demonstrating just how important animal care organizations are in our world for both humans and animals alike," Hochul said. "This latest round of the Companion Animal Capital Funding will help strengthen New York's shelters by providing employees and volunteers the tools and resources they need to help the animals in their care all year round."

This announcement brings the total dedicated to the program to more than $20 million since 2017. Since the launch of the program, 41 projects have been awarded across New York and 20 projects have been fully completed.

The Companion Animal Capital Fund is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The program provides competitive matching grants to offset the costs associated with capital projects, allowing for better care and improved environments for animals that are housed in local shelters. Funds are available to eligible incorporated and municipal animal shelters, pounds and humane societies. Grants can be used to construct, renovate, rehabilitate or acquire buildings and equipment needed to house, treat and care for sheltered dogs and cats.

Two requests for proposals (RFPs) have been released through round 4 of this program:

RFP 0255:

√ $4.25 million is available to award grants between $50,000 and $500,000 to municipal and incorporated not-for-profit pounds, shelters and humane societies that are operated by or under contract with a municipality.

√ Entities that have been awarded funds during previous Companion Animal Capital Projects funding 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.

RFP 0258:

√ $1.8 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.

All applicants must apply through Grants Gateway by 4 p.m. Jan. 25, 2022. More details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at agriculture.ny.gov/funding-opportunities.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York's Companion Animal Capital Fund makes a real difference for animal shelters across our state. We are pleased and proud to see this funding continued so that we can build on the program's success and continue to support healthy pets as they await their new homes."

Executive Director of the New York Animal Protection Federation Libby Post said, "This year's Companion Animal Capital Fund's RFP for $5 million in grants marks a $20 million capital investment by the state in our network of animal shelters. The federation's thanks go to Gov. Hochul and our legislative champions Assembly member Deborah Glick, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo, and State Senator Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey. Without their efforts, the fund may not have made it back into the budget. I have visited two new shelters –Susquehanna SPCA in Cooperstown and the SPCA of Westchester in Briarcliff – both of whom credited their $500,000 matching CACF grant with kick-starting their capital campaign efforts. These shelters' state-of-the-art facilities provide optimum care for their homeless animals, create a new destination in their community for adopters, and set new standards for animal care throughout the state. The federation's education fund is looking forward to once again providing low-cost grant writers to help our members facilitate the RFP process."

State Senator Michelle Hinchey said, "The Companion Animal Action Fund is an important program that extends much-needed support to our local animal shelters, which rely mainly on donations and hardworking volunteers who provide loving care to animals in their most vulnerable moments.”

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "New York's shelters work tirelessly to provide the best care for animals while they await adoption. The Companion Animal Capital Fund is critical to helping shelters make much-needed improvements. New, expanded or renovated facilities will help shelters continue to provide cats and dogs with the highest quality care.”

The New York State Animal Protection Federation estimates more than 150,000 animals are brought to these facilities annually, and many are adopted by New York families.

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