Governor Cuomo Announces First-in-the-Nation State Capital Fund For Critical Improvements To Animal Shelters

Supports Construction, Renovation, and Expansion Projects at New York Shelters; $5 Million Companion Animal Capital Fund Funded in FY 2018 Budget.

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Albany, NY - October 20, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $5 million is available to support critical improvement projects at New York's non-profit and municipal animal shelters, humane societies, and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Funded in the FY 2018 Budget, the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund is the first state-funded program of its kind in the nation. It will allow eligible organizations to make significant updates to their facilities to enhance animal care and health, as well as to support companion animal adoptions.
"With this first-in-the-nation capital fund, we will help shelters upgrade their facilities to support the care and health of animals under their care," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will better equip New York shelters to continue their important work of finding these pets a loving home in New York."
Administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Companion Animal Capital Fund is available to not-for-profit pounds, shelters and humane societies that are operated by or are under contract with a municipality. According to the New York State Animal Protection Federation, more than 150,000 animals are brought to these facilities each year and many are adopted by New York families. The Fund will help these organizations continue to provide sheltering services to local communities, promote better care for the animals and facilitate more adoptions.
The Companion Animal Capital Fund will provide competitive matching grants to offset the costs associated with capital projects, such as renovating dog kennels, improving medical facilities, or building more efficient shelters to reduce the cost of operation. Funds can be used to construct, renovate, rehab, or acquire buildings or equipment needed to house, treat, and care for sheltered dogs and cats.
Eligible organizations that serve a single municipality with a population of less than two million people may apply for grants of $50,000 to $200,000. The awarded funding may not exceed 50 percent of the proposed project cost and applicants are required to match 25 percent of the grant total.
Eligible organizations serving two or more municipalities, or one municipality with a population of more than two million individuals, 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 50 percent of the grant.  
All applicants must apply through Grants Gateway here by 4 p.m. on January 10, 2018. More details on eligibility and the application process are available on the Division of Animal Industry webpage at For questions, contact Alexandra Chiusano at
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Thanks to support from Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature, New York's shelters, humane societies and SPCAs will now have an opportunity to make much-needed improvements to provide better care for animals in need as they await new homes. These facilities are vital to protecting our animals and provide important services to our communities."
Senator Phil Boyle said, "This first-of-its-kind fund will provide humane societies, nonprofits, and municipal shelters the ability to apply for grants for capital projects through a competitive application process. We've worked diligently for this funding opportunity, which will allow for the better care of companion shelter animals, including dogs and cats, and provide more resources for those in communities throughout the state looking to adopt pets."
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick said, "Animal shelters across the state not only care for our pets before we adopt them, but as they increasingly become "no kill" shelters, they also care for animals when nobody else can or will. There is tremendous need for capital improvements in our animal shelters, and I was proud to sponsor the Companion Animal Capital Fund in which the State recognizes the need to make these investments. I am pleased that the Governor signed this legislation into law and is allocating these funds. New Yorkers expect animals will be treated humanely, and additional funds for shelters will make it possible to properly care for the animals they shelter."
Libby Post, Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, said "This is a major step forward for New York, its shelters and the companion animals they care for. The Federation is incredibly thankful to Governor Cuomo, Senator Boyle, Assemblywoman Glick and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets for embracing our vision and making it a reality. We look forward to working with shelters across the state to help them in this process. Capital improvements are needed across the state. This funding will help animal shelters move forward and provide excellent care to the dogs, cats and other companion animals in their facilities."