Hochul announces $7.6 million awarded to animal shelters for improvements
√ Funding supports construction, renovation & expansion projects at New York animal shelters that enhance animal care and health
√ Over $33 million dedicated to state's Companion Animal Capital Fund since 2017
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $7.6 million will be provided to 21 animal shelters and humane societies across the state through the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund, which is in its fifth round. The funding will support construction, renovation and expansion projects that will enhance animal care and health, and help ensure adoptions for New York's dogs and cats.
Hochul’s team said, “As the first in the nation to fund capital projects for animal shelters, New York state continues to demonstrate its commitment to securing safe housing and care for sheltered dogs and cats as they await adoption.”
The governor added, "Animal shelters and humane societies across New York provide essential care for dogs and cats as they await their new families and forever homes. New York's Companion Animal Capital Fund is making a real difference for our shelters and humane societies, and the animals in their care, helping them make critical upgrades to better care for the animals and provide greater support for the staff and volunteers that care for them."
A press release stated, “Since the launch of the Companion Animal Capital Fund program in 2017, which is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the state has dedicated over $33 million to the program, including funds committed in this year's budget. The fifth round of funding awarded builds on previous initiatives to offset the costs associated with capital projects run by New York state animal shelters, such as renovating dog kennels, improving medical facilities, or building more efficient shelters to reduce overall operational costs. Projects funded this year include new living spaces for additional cats, new medical facilities, and improved outdoor spaces, and shelter renovations to include additional kennels.”
Competitive grants were awarded to shelters based on a need assessment, detailed project description, and reasonableness of cost. Among the awarded shelters, the Erie County SPCA will receive $200,000 to improve kennels and outdoor exercise area, renovate cat recovery and nursery area, obtain a new HVAC system and a security system.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, "Animal shelters provide so much more than just a refuge; from offering essential medical care to daily enrichment activities, the hardworking staff at humane societies, shelters and SPCAs throughout the state work tirelessly to provide the best care for dogs and cats while they wait to be adopted into their forever families. Over the last few years, we've seen the funding from the Companion Animal Capital Fund go to critical upgrades and projects that mean better care for New York's animals. We are proud to announce this latest round, which will build on the successes we have seen so far."
Executive Director of the New York Animal Protection Federation Libby Post said, "The members of the NYS Animal Protection Federation are so thankful to the governor and the Legislature for making this funding a reality. We have seen the direct results of this funding at shelters across the state. New buildings, new air handling systems, new kennels and cat condos, new infrastructure that keeps homeless companion animals healthy so that they're ready for adoption. Because of the increased attention paid to animal crimes by law enforcement, as well as the effects of COVID, evictions and the economy, more animals are coming into our shelters. This has put a strain on the shelters but, with this capital funding, many will be able to upgrade and expand to meet these ongoing challenges."
New York State Sen. Michelle Hinchey said, "Our local animal shelters go above and beyond to provide a safe haven for the animals in their care, and yet many across our state are in major need of capital funding to expand and upgrade their facilities. The Companion Animal Capital Fund is instrumental in helping animal shelters make those much-needed improvements, and I was proud to advocate for it in the state budget. I thank Gov. Hochul for making this latest round of grant funding available so that animal shelters throughout New York State can continue to keep animals happy and healthy as they await adoption."
According to the New York State Animal Protection Federation, more than 150,000 animals annually are brought to nonprofit and municipality-run shelters and humane societies. The New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund will help these organizations continue to provide sheltering services to local communities, promote better care for the animals, and facilitate more adoptions.