Last week, New York was the first state to offer its residents free tuition for four-year public colleges-a move that will change life in New York and inspire other governments. But in the same New York state budget in 2017-2018, they separately committed to another vulnerable New York population: Unsheltered animals.
The million Companion Animal Capital Fund (CACF), developed in close collaboration with the ASPCA and in coordination with a grassroots campaign initiated by the New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF), will support nonprofits, animal shelters and appropriate human societies.
Capital projects, including construction, renovation, acquisitions and facilities. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will be setting up a program to distribute these much-needed funds and we are ready to assist you in any way we can.
While million doesn’t cover all or even the most important needs of animal shelters in the state, Capital funding is still important, because passion and commitment alone can’t fix a shelter’s leaky roof, replace a critical vehicle, or increase animal capacity safely. Infrastructure improvements like this are often costly, but absolutely necessary to ensure an adequate supply of animals in need.
Our own ASPCA Capital Funding grants, which amounted to just over million in 2016, have greatly assisted accommodation and rescues across the country, including payment for essential equipment for the expansion of Spay/Neutrum clinics and covering the construction costs of existing and newly developed facilities. Funded improvements help these organizations save lives more efficiently and effectively, which they cannot pay for.
But the pledge of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Assembly and the New York Senate is more than just a promise of money. It reflects the elevation of animal welfare from a local concern to a state imperative and can inspire other leaders and communities to say, ” they did it. Why can’t we?”
At all political levels, the creation and extension of the lawful protection of community animals is the work of leaders and voters.I therefore encourage the general public to push their own representatives in the states and at the federal level to act on behalf of vulnerable and injured animals through regulatory and legislative means. Because the calculation is simple: the more resources we put into shelters, the more animals we will see, or better yet, never enter.