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$7.6 million available to support improvements to animal shelters


Fri, Feb 10th 2023 02:45 pm

Nearly $30 million has been dedicated to program to date

√ Round five of Companion Animal Capital Projects Fund continues support of construction, renovation & expansion projects at animal shelters

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday 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.

"Our Companion Animal Capital Fund has made a real difference to shelters across New York state, and the animals in their care," Hochul said. "I'm proud to announce this latest round of funding, which will continue to build on the great work of this program, and most importantly help our animals stay happy and healthy as they await their forever homes."

Today'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. In the final, enacted fiscal year 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 (RFPs) have been released through round five of this program:

RFP 0289:

√ $6.6 million is available to award grants between $50,000 and $500,000 to municipal and incorporated not-for-profit 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.

RFP 0290:

√ $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.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "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. Through the previous four rounds, we have helped our dogs and cats have safer, happier stays in shelters as they await their forever homes. I am proud to see this program continue to make a difference for New York's shelters and humane societies, and look forward to visiting more of the exciting, completed projects in the future."

State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, said, "Our local animal shelters are safe havens for defenseless animals, and the Companion Animal Capital Fund has been instrumental in helping New York's shelters implement critical improvement projects so that more animals can be rescued. 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."

Assembly member Donna Lupardo, chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, said, "The Companion Animal Capital Fund is critical in helping shelters make much-needed improvements. New, expanded or renovated facilities will allow these organizations to continue providing homeless animals with the highest quality care while they await adoption to their forever homes. I'd like to thank the governor and my colleagues for continuing to support this important fund, which serves as a lifeline for these hard-working organizations and the animals in their care."

Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, said, "When the Companion Animal Capital Fund began, we knew it would make a real difference at animal shelters throughout the state. 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. Gov. Hochul recognized the importance of these funds when she included $5 million in her first executive budget. Our legislative champions, Assembly member Deborah Glick and State Sen. Joe Addabbo, shepherded an additional $3 million through the budget processes in their respective houses. This round will add to the 51 shelters and countless animals that have already benefited from this crucial funding, and will go a long way to enriching the lives of those we care for each and every day."

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