April 11, 2018

New York Lawmakers Renew $5 Million in Funding for Homeless Animals

a happy pitbull

New York law requires almost every municipality in the state to maintain an animal shelter for homeless and abandoned animals. Many not-for-profit SPCAs, humane societies and other animal rescue organizations contract with local governments to provide sheltering services, but until last year, the state provided little or no money to help offset costs.

In 2017, state lawmakers acted on a New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF) proposal to create the Companion Animal Capital Fund (CACF), which provides animal shelters statewide with an unprecedented $5 million in budget funds for much-needed repairs and improvements to their facilities.  The NYSAPF represents the needs of over 40 municipal and not-for-profit sheltering systems in New York State.

Because of these critical funds, shelters from Long Island to Western New York received grants as large as $500,000 to meet their most critical infrastructure needs, allowing them to better serve the animals in their care.

We are pleased to report that, for the second year, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo acted on their commitment to homeless animals by allotting an additional $5 million for the CACF in the 2018-2019 budget!

Although $5 million won’t cover every animal sheltering-related need in the state, capital funding is always important because passion and dedication alone can’t fix a shelter’s leaky roof, replace a critical vehicle, or safely expand capacity. Structural improvements like these are often expensive, but absolutely required to ensure appropriate care for animals in need and ensure animal shelters can continue to provide lifesaving care.

We applaud the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo for acknowledging the needs of homeless animals and the important role shelters play in our communities. If you live in New York, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to thank Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Senator Phil Boyle for championing the CACF and fighting for these crucial capital dollars.

Don’t live in New York? Please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when animal-protection legislation or the shelters in your state need help.