The 2017-18 New York State budget will be approved on April 1, and you can impact whether or not this program is included.

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The problem New York is facing is: This program is fairly new and was not originally included in Gov. Cuomo's 2017-18 budget.

The program, or Companion Animal Capital Fund, would provide $5 million in support to our local shelters. Currently, the monetary donations shelters receive are used for vet bills, food, cleaning supplies, toys, and countless other expenses. What we don't really consider when we think of shelters are the infrastructure challenges they face. When was the last time you heard of an animal shelter that got a face lift? I don't think I ever have -- and that's because they just don't have the funds to make these changes while they provide for our animal companions.

The ASPCA's letter-to-Cuomo template says it best:

By helping to meet shelters’ needs for essential structural improvements, you ensure their ability to help animals in need and serve their communities for many years to come.

If you're in support of the Companion Animal Capital Fund, let your local representatives know.