(WNY News Now) – Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a $5 million fund during Animal Shelter Appreciation Week to support critical infrastructure upgrades in New York’s animal shelters. This marks the sixth round of funding for the state’s groundbreaking Companion Animal Capital Fund, aimed at improving shelter facilities and promoting increased adoptions for dogs and cats.
Albany – In a significant move to bolster the well-being of animals awaiting adoption, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a $5 million allocation for the sixth round of the Companion Animal Capital Fund. Launched in 2017, this program, the first of its kind in the nation, has already channeled over $33 million to enhance shelter facilities across the state.
Governor Hochul expressed her pride in the program’s positive impact, stating, “New York State’s Companion Animal Capital Fund has made a real difference to shelters across the state and the animals in their care. I’m proud that the funding announced today will continue to build on the great work of this program, helping New York’s animals stay happy and healthy as they await their forever homes.”
Administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM), the Companion Animal Capital Fund provides crucial matching grants to shelters and humane societies. These grants offset the costs associated with vital capital projects, including renovating dog kennels, improving medical facilities, and constructing more efficient shelters to reduce overall operational costs.
To ensure transparency and efficiency, AGM selects grant recipients through a rigorous process involving a need assessment, detailed project description, and evaluation of the reasonableness of costs. Since the program’s inception, 84 projects have been awarded, making a substantial impact on animal care infrastructure in New York.
Two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) have been released for Round Six of the program:
Over $3.5 million is available for municipal and incorporated not-for-profit pounds, shelters, humane societies, and rescue facilities. Eligible entities must adhere to the guidelines outlined in section 114 of New York Agriculture and Markets Law.
Over $1.1 million is available for duly incorporated pounds, shelters, humane societies, or rescue facilities not operated by or under contract with a municipality but registered with AGM, according to section 408 of New York Agriculture and Markets Law. Entities must demonstrate their provision of pound or shelter services in underserved municipalities or regions lacking sufficient shelter capacity for dogs and/or cats.
In alignment with the announcement, The Humane Society of the United States celebrates Animal Shelter Appreciation Week each year during the first full week of November. This week is dedicated to honoring animal shelters and the committed individuals working to protect the animals in their care.
Applications for the grants are due by 4:00 pm on January 29, 2024. Shelters, humane societies, and rescue facilities across the state are encouraged to apply for these funds to further enhance the well-being of animals and promote increased adoptions throughout New York.