NEW YORK (NEWS10) – Governor Kathy Hochul has included $5 million in her first executive budget to New York’s homeless companion of animals and the network of shelters. The first, in five years, the New York State Animal Protection Federation says the Governor recognizes the important work animal shelters provide to their animals and their communities.

The Companion Animal Companion Fund (CACF) is a matching program. Shelters must match either 25% or 50% of project cost based on the number of municipalities the shelter serves. CACF grants have kick-started multi-million dollar capital campaigns to build new shelters across the state.

Susquehanna SPCA in Cooperstown and the SPCA of Westchester have received $500,000 grants. Both are seen as stamps of approval by their philanthropic communities that each opened their new shelters in 2021.

According to officials, funds had been appropriated to be included in each fiscal year budget since 2018, except for FY2021 (COVID budget) through a legislative appropriation. The federation will work with CACF Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Senator Joseph Addabbo to have the legislature include their $5 million appropriations to bring the fund to a total of $10 million.

The Federation says the annual capital needs survey found that there are 34 shelters across the state with capital needs of $217,155,634. The Federation’s Education Fund provides low-cost grant writers for Federation members.