Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley receives state grant

·2 min read

May 22—An area animal shelter is getting a big state grant.

Maggie Jackman Pryor, executive director of the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley, announced that the shelter was recently awarded a $500,000 grant through the state Companion Animal Capital Fund.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Schoharie County shelter was one of 21 animal shelter and humane society recipients across the state that received a portion of nearly $7.6 million in the current round of funding from the initiative.

Pryor said the state specifically defines what the grant can be used for, and as a result, the funds will be used for an expansion and renovation of the shelter's facility in Howes Cave, to add an on-site veterinary clinic to provide medical care to the animals at the shelter, the release said. Funds from the grant cannot be used for day-to-day operating expenses or the salaries of shelter employees.

"To say I am absolutely thrilled, would be a big understatement," Pryor said in a media release. "Shortly after taking on the role of Executive Director in 2022, it became painfully obvious to me that an on-site veterinary clinic is what would be most helpful to the financial longevity of this non-profit organization."

She said the shelter spends about $100,000 annually for veterinary care. "We fundraise year-round to keep up with our vet bills, and to pay the rather modest salaries of our six staff members who go above and beyond to operate the shelter 365 days a year," she said in the release. "This grant, and the possibility of our own vet clinic, will forever change this organization and allow us to continue our mission of helping as many animals and pet owners in Schoharie County as possible."

Pryor said in the release she and the shelter board have also started looking into other future expansion ideas, including a low-cost spay/neuter program that residents of Schoharie County will be able to use for their pets and creating space to offer pet grooming, training and boarding — ideas that could provide additional sources of revenue for the shelter. Those ideas could only come to fruition, however, through separate donations and not the money received from the Companion Animal Capital Fund, the release said.

Since the 2017 launch of the Companion Animal Capital Fund program, which is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the state has dedicated more than $33 million to the program, including funds committed in this year's budget, the release said.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221.