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Animal welfare groups awarded nearly $500,000 in grants
By Chris Barnett / November 6, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to fund 28 animal welfare programs across the state ranging from underwriting a statewide spay/neutering program for the pets of needy Rhode Islanders to re-opening the seal pool at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

“The generous support of our donors and the dedication of our partners are expanding humane education, raising awareness and increasing the quality of animal care in Rhode Island,” said Adrian Bonéy, the Foundation’s grant programs officer who oversees the Program for Animal Welfare (PAW). “Their efforts are leading to new approaches to animal welfare and humane education across the state.”

PAW funds organizations that promote and provide humane treatment of animals or work more generally on the welfare of animals. Grants are for projects or programs that have a positive impact statewide or in individual communities with regard to animal care, education about the humane treatment of animals and animal welfare in general.

“Animal welfare grants actually reach much further than is obvious. For instance, a grant to help emergency pet sheltering saves human lives because people will heed evacuation warnings if they have somewhere to take their pets, where they would not if they had to leave their pets in harm’s way,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Marshall.

PAW is funded with assistance from the Virginia B. Butler Fund, Abbie A. Brougham Memorial Fund, Ginger, Sheba and Susie Carr Fund, Chariho Westerly Animal Rescue League Animal Welfare Fund, Mary Lou Crandall Fund, Anne Grosvenor Fund, Jeanne Marie Mehmed Fund, Vernon and Mary Pierce Fund, Helen Walker Raleigh Animal Fund, Ilon Sillmon/Sara Andrews Endowment Fund, Vinny Animal Welfare Fund and Dawn, Gregg and Leland Weingeroff Animal Fund.

The largest award was made to the Ocean State Animal Coalition of Warwick (OSAC), which received $78,500, primarily to offer needy pet owners statewide low-cost or free transportation and spay and neuter services for their dogs and cats.

“Our van drives all over Rhode Island, ensuring that animals in the care of shelters and rescue organizations, as well as pets whose owners could not otherwise get to us, can have the surgery they need. We could not continue to offer affordable and accessible transport and surgical services without this support,” said Liz Skrobisch, OSAC’s executive director.

Other major grants included:
$30,000 to the Providence Animal Rescue League for a program to reduce drop-offs at shelters by underwriting veterinary care associated with the Pet Retention Program, which an effort to reduce drop-offs at shelters by people who otherwise could not afford to keep their pets.

$25,000 to the Rhode Island Zoological Society to re-open the seal pool at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. The exhibit has been closed since May after a crack was discovered in the wall that supports the public viewing window into the tank. The repairs will enable the Zoo’s two male harbor seals, Bubba and Action, to return to the facility.

The other recipients are:
The Animal Rescue Rhode Island in Wakefield was awarded $10,000 to support its Healthy Start program, which provides newly rescued animals with veterinary services.

The East Greenwich Animal Protection League received $5,000 to obtain spay or neutering services.

Foster Parrots Ltd. in Hopkinton was awarded $15,000 to improve the aviary, provide care to rescued exotic birds and other animals and support its humane education programs.

Friends of Animals in Need in North Kingstown received $15,000 to underwrite the cost of providing veterinary care to the animals of low-income pet owners in order to prevent abandonment, surrender or euthanizing.

Friends of Central Falls Animals was awarded $15,453 to spay or neuter an estimated 150 pet cats and another 150 feral and free-roaming cats, and administer a variety of medical treatments, including distemper and rabies vaccinations.

Friends of the Charlestown Animal Shelter received $5,520 to spay or neuter pets of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton residents at no-cost.

Friends of Exeter Animals received $5,000 to build kennel enclosures as part of an initiative to improve the Exeter Animal Shelter.

Friends of Providence Animal Care and Control Center was awarded $18,000 to upgrade the quarantine room, including new epoxy floors and kennel doors.

Friends of the Westerly Animal Shelter received $6,000 for dietary and medical care and to provide grooming and behavior modification as needed to prepare dogs for adoption.

The Humane Society of Jamestown was awarded $7,000 to underwrite a variety of humane education services, including offering the Gentle Hands, Gentle Voices program in local schools.

The Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown received $7,500 for animal care and electrical upgrades to its facility.

The town of North Providence was awarded $36,500 to renovate and expand its animal shelter, which is also used by the town of Johnston. The work is expected to increase the shelter’s capacity to house more animals.

PAAWS RI in Warwick was awarded $25,000 to provide veterinary assistance to shelter animals and the pets of low-income owners and make improvements to the shelter.

PawsWatch RI of North Kingstown, a statewide education and advocacy program dedicated to solving Rhode Island’s free-roaming cat over-population problem, received $25,500 for spaying and neutering.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) in East Providence was awarded $7,522 to purchase portable cat cages. In 2014, the RISPCA had to turn away approximately 900 cats because it did not have room to house them.

The Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association’s Companion Animal Foundation of Providence received $10,000 to provide low-income owners vouchers to pay for the treatment of their sick and injured pets.

The Robert Potter League for Animals of Newport received $35,000 to launch a managed admissions program to improve the intake process and reduce or delay the number of animals being surrendered and to support CoyoteSmarts, a public education campaign centering on encouraging best management practices and no feeding ordinances.

The Sea Research Foundation was awarded $10,000 for the Animal Rescue Program at Mystic Aquarium, which rescues and rehabilitates injured and sick marine mammals and sea turtles. Since 1990, 82 percent of the animals it has cared for were rescued in Rhode Island.

The town of Smithfield received $7,500 to spay or neuter pets of low-income residents.

Stand Up for Animals in Westerly was awarded $15,000 to provide medication and veterinary care for cats and dogs at the Westerly Animal Shelter prior to adoption.

Tails to Teach in East Greenwich received $35,000 to deliver its humane education programs in schools as well.

The West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton received $15,000 to provide enhanced nutrition and specialized medical care to injured, neglected or disabled wildlife and farm animals.

The town of Westerly received $5,000 for services at the Westerly Animal Shelter, including implanting a microchip ID in every shelter animal prior to adoption.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island in North Kingstown received $15,000 to build one structure comprised of several flight cages with attached enclosures for the purpose of acclimating and reconditioning raptors and large birds following injury or illness.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.
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