GLENVILLE — The Animal Protective Foundation will get a $220,868 state grant for a new feline care center and other upgrades, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.
The Glenville facility's grant was the only local funding among nearly $5 million in grants awarded to animal shelters statewide. The Animal Protective Foundation primarily serves Schenectady County communities.
"New York's animal shelters perform critical services in communities across this great state," Cuomo said in a prepared statement announcing the grants. "This funding will better equip these facilities and help improve quality care, as these shelters continue to strive to find dogs and cats under their care a permanent, loving home."
The money is coming from the state's new Companion Animal Capital Fund, which is targeted to capital improvements at non-profit animal shelters. The grants, administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, require a 25 percent match of local funds.
Since non-profit shelters typically rely on private fundraising and face tight financial constraints, they rarely can raise money for capital improvements.
"The state has never supported anything like this before," said Deb Balliet, executive director of the Animal Protective Foundation. "We were excited just that the fund was started and we could apply and be awarded."
She said the foundation has already raised much of the money it needs for the match.
Using the state money, the foundation's shelter on Maple Avenue will construct a new feline care center and improved medical facilities. There will also be renovations to the existing shelter, including a new heating/cooling system for improved ventilation that Balliet said will keep the cats healthier, since they will have better air and more space.
"The support ultimately provides better care for the pets so they can be gotten into permanent homes sooner," Balliet said.
The foundation, which was started in 1931 and occupies a building that's about 25 years old, will need plan approval for the upgrades from the town of Glenville. Balliet said the foundation hopes to get approval and be able to start construction in the spring.
Statewide, Cuomo's office said 14 shelters received funding for a variety of capital projects
"We are absolutely thrilled by the number of grant applications that have been awarded," said Libby Post, executive director of the New York State Animal Protective Federation, which represents private shelters. "There was a strong response to this program from New York's shelters and humane societies, and the applications far outweighed the availability of funding."