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$5 Million Available for Animal Shelter Improvement Projects
New York Ag Connection - 11/13/2019

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an additional $5 million is available to support critical upgrades at New York's animal shelters. This is the third round of funding for the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund, which will allow eligible organizations to make major improvements to their facilities to enhance animal care and health. A total of $15 million has been dedicated to the program since 2017.

"Over the last two years, this program has provided animal shelters with the funding needed to ensure New York's pets receive the care they need," Cuomo said. "Today's continued funding builds on the ongoing work to help expand the resources and tools these facilities, employees and volunteers need to help find pets loving homes."

The Companion Animal Capital Fund is the first state-funded program in the nation to support critical improvement projects at New York shelters. Since the launch of the program, 24 projects have been awarded across the State and are underway.

The Companion Animal Capital Fund is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which 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 non-profit and municipal animal shelters, humane societies and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Grants can be used to construct, renovate, rehab or acquire buildings and equipment needed to house, treat and care for sheltered dogs and cats.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "There has been tremendous and sustained interest in this program, and we have seen a widespread need to help fund improvements at shelters that serve communities across our State. We are pleased and proud to see this funding continued so that we can support upgrades to the facilities that house these pets as they wait for their new homes."

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

Senator Monica R. Martinez said, "I commend Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for securing this vital funding to enhance the quality of care in shelters across our state. Funding for these local shelters helps us to protect those most vulnerable in our communities and allows us to give a voice to the voiceless. By diligently advocating for animal welfare funding, we are not only protecting our animals, but also building a healthier community. As chair of the Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee, I am committed to elevating and uplifting the rights and protections of those who cannot advocate for themselves, and ensuring the safety of animals across New York State; this is a step in the right direction in reforming our animal shelter system."

Assembly Member Deborah Glick said, "The Companion Animal Capital Fund has been instrumental in assisting New York's animal shelters maintain excellence in care for future pets that are waiting to find their new home. Our animal shelters provide much needed care to companion animals, and continued funding will allow them to properly care for and shelter every animal that is in need."

Executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, Libby Post, said, "The Companion Animal Capital Fund has become a crucial tool in enhancing shelters and their operations across New York. We have already seen the benefits around the state and soon we will see new shelters opening with this funding as a critical component of that work. Making sure companion animals have a sturdy roof above their heads and a good place to live while awaiting their forever homes is key to shelter adoption programs across New York. The Federation thanks Governor Cuomo, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, State Senators Monica Martinez and Phil Boyle and the Department of Agriculture and Markets for their on-going support of the Fund and the dogs and cats it helps to save."

Eligible organizations serving a single municipality with a population of less than two million may apply for grants of $50,000 to $200,000. Grants may not exceed 50 percent of the proposed project costs and applicants are required to match 50 percent of the grant total.

Eligible organizations serving two or more municipalities, or one municipality with a population of more than two million, may apply for grants of $100,000 to $500,000. For these grants, the awarded funding may not exceed 75 percent of the proposed project cost and applicants are required to match 25 percent of the grant.

All applicants must apply through Grants Gateway by 4 p.m. on Jan. 20. More details on eligibility and the application process are available on the Current Funding Opportunities page at www.agriculture.ny.gov/RFPS.

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