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Animal welfare programs awarded nearly $440,000 in grants
By Chris Barnett / December 9, 2014 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded nearly $440,000 in grants to fund 27 animal welfare programs across the state that do everything from underwriting low-cost spay and neutering programs for needy pet owners to humane education.


“The generous support of our donors and the dedication of our grantees is expanding humane education, raising awareness and increasing the quality of animal care in Rhode Island,” said Adrian Boney, the grants program officer who oversees the Program for Animal Welfare (PAW) at the Foundation. “New approaches to animal welfare and humane education are emerging and our animal welfare grant program is supporting a wide variety of programs from a diverse array of organizations and community efforts 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 Dr. Scott Marshall, Rhode Island State Veterinarian.

About a dozen grant recipients joined the Foundation to make the announcement at the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) in East Providence, which was awarded $12,698 for kennel improvements and equipment including a dishwasher, power sprayer and new doors.

“The most basic and essential task of caring for our animals is maintaining a sanitary living environment.  This includes the daily cleaning of our kennels with an electric power washer and sanitizing food and water bowls and washable dog toys in our commercial dishwasher,” said Dr. Ernest J. Finocchio, D.V.M., RISPCA president. “Our facility has kennel space for 30 dogs. The interior kennels lead to exterior kennels via a guillotine door. Now we can replace the outdated, chain-link style doors with more secure models in order to minimize injuries to both patrons and dogs.”

The Ocean State Animal Coalition (OSAC) of Warwick was awarded $26,600 to offer subsidized spay and neuter services for dogs and cats to needy pet owners statewide, humane education and strategic planning.

“Our mission is to improve the status and well-being of animals in our State.  This grant will enable us to provide spay/neuter services to the pets of impoverished owners and to educate children - the next generation of pet owners - about pet responsibility, empathy and respect, as we work to make RI a humane community,” said Liz Skrobisch, OSAC’s executive director.

PAW is funded with assistance from the Virginia B. Butler Fund, Abbie A. Brougham Memorial Fund, John B. and Ruth L. Kilton Fund, Helen Walker Raleigh Animal Fund, Dawn, Gregg and Leland Weingeroff Animal Fund, Mary Lou Crandall Fund, Vinny Animal Welfare Fund, Vernon and Mary Pierce Fund, Ginger, Sheba and Susie Carr Fund and Jeanne Marie Mehmed Fund.

The largest award was made to the Providence Animal Rescue League, which received $46,036 to expand ongoing neighborhood outreach, plan community-wide events and offer free or very-low-cost services such as pet wellness care, spay and neuter surgeries, humane education and dog training.

Other major grants are $39,000 to Tails to Teach in East Greenwich to expand its humane education programs to more schools as well as recruiting and training more classroom volunteers and $36,000 to the Robert Potter League for Animals of Newport to help lower-income owners care for their pets and to support Aquidneck Island's Coyote Best Management Practices and No Feeding Ordinances.

The other recipients are:

The Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island in Wakefield was awarded $20,000 to cover some of the cost of building its new shelter.

Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare was awarded $9,190 to support the on-going development and implementation of its Bristol County Community Cats initiative including community outreach and education, fees associated with caring for stray and feral cats and equipment for the new cat adoption center.

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 the Bristol Animal Shelter received $15,000 to add an outdoor play area for dogs at its new facility.

Friends of the Charlestown Animal Shelter received $20,000 to continue providing free spaying or neutering for pets of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton residents. This program has already served more than 400 animals including spaying or neutering 201 cats and 189 dogs.

Friends of the Scituate Animal Shelter received $3,000 to provide medical testing and treatment for injured or sick animals, predominately feral cats and neglected dogs.

Friends of the Westerly Animal Shelter was awarded $2,580 to provide medical care, support the spaying, neutering and vaccinations; and to buy a blood analyzer and large cages for quarantining cats.

Foster Parrots Ltd. in Hopkinton received $20,000 to support the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary and Center For Humane Education, which serves a facility for the care of rescued exotic birds and other animals and a center for humane education. 

Historic New England received $10,000 for Casey Farm’s Project CHICK. The Saunderstown farm teaches about heritage-breed chickens, the humane treatment of animals and traditional farming methods.

The Humane Society of Jamestown received $9,000 to increase the number of schools participating in its "Gentle Hands, Gentle Voices" curriculum for third-graders.

The Newport Community School was awarded $4,500 for its Pets & Vets program, which is an award-winning collaboration with the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association that brings a popular animal-welfare curriculum to middle school youth.

Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown received $12,000 for its Animal CARE program.

PAAWS RI in Warwick was awarded $35,000 to underwrite the cost of providing veterinary assistance to the animals of low-income pet owners as well as routine medical attention, shelter and adoption services.

Paws Watch of North Kingstown received $25,000 for its Trap, Neuter, Return and Monitor program, which addresses the state’s free-roaming-cat overpopulation problem. The organization expects to spay or neuter approximately 2,000 cats.

The Pet Refuge in North Kingstown was awarded $8,600 to build an outdoor storage shed for supplies such as food, litter and paper goods.

Placing Paws of Tiverton was awarded $4,000 to continue providing pet adoption and spaying or neutering of stray animals, particularly feral cats.

The Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association’s Companion Animal Foundation of Providence received $15,000 to treat the sick and injured pets of low-income owners and fund outreach to a more diverse audience of pet owners.

The Sea Research Foundation was awarded $10,000 for the Animal Rescue Program at Mystic Aquarium, which responds to strandings of sea turtles and seals and other marine animals. Since 1990, 82 percent of the animals it has cared for were rescued in Rhode Island.

Stand Up for Animals (SUFA)in Westerly was awarded $10,000 to provide care for an estimated 550 dogs and cats as well as spaying or neutering of pets prior to adoption. 

The West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton received $8,000 to provide enhanced nutrition and specialized medical care to injured or disabled animals.

The town of Westerly received $12,000 for services at the Westerly Animal Shelter including a microchip program, wellness clinics and adding a dental unit and hematology system, which will improve care and cut outsourcing costs. In addition, the town’s animal control officer will complete Phase 2 of a three-phase program on investigating animal cruelty.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island in North Kingstown received $11,793 to install a fire suppression system in its wildlife clinic. This system will enable first responders to safely evacuate all staff and wildlife patients and staff in the event of a fire.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2013, the Foundation made grants of more than $31 million 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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