Companion Animal Care Standards Act Consulting Services

We are gearing up for another round of consulting services. Please read the information below and then click on the link to sign up.

One of the highlights of the 2022 session was the passage of the New York State Animal Protection Federation’s Companion Animal Care Standards Act for Shelters and Rescues sponsored by State Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblymember Amy Paulin. This bill passed both houses with massive bi-partisan support and Governor Hochul signed the bill on December 15, 2022.

The bill has a three-year effective date. It will come into effect on December 15. 2025. But, there’s no time like the present to prepare.

The bill creates a new Article 26-C in the Agriculture and Markets Law (AGM) and replaces New York’s existing shelter/rescue registration law (AGM, Section 408, enacted in 2017) with a licensing and inspection program that provides comprehensive, uniform facility and animal care standards for shelters and rescue organizations. In short, both shelters and rescues would be overseen and inspected by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Animal Industry.

The Federation purposely advocated for a three-year effective date in order to give all the shelters and rescues in NYS the time they need to meet the new standards which are based on the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ (ASV) 2010 Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. The same standards the Companion Animal Capital Fund RFPs are written to.

In anticipation of the bill’s passage, the NYSAPF Education Fund wrote grants to the Weiderhold Foundation and the NY Community Trust to provide low cost/no cost Companion Animal Care Standards Act consulting services to help shelters and rescues reach these standards. We have a team of six consultants, led by our veteran shelter standards consultant Barbara Carr, the former Executive Director of the SPCA Serving Erie County.

We’ve worked with or are scheduled to work with 35 organizations across NYS. We’ve been awarded $100,000 by the ASPCA which will enable us to work with another 20 organizations across the state and $85,000 from the Weiderhold Foundation. We have a limited amount of consulting slots left.

The grants cover the costs of the consulting services on-site and follow up reporting back to the organization. The only financial outlay for the shelter or rescue would be the out of pocket expenses of travel, accommodations and food.

Each project will be made up of three parts:  on-site introductory site-visit(s), a written findings report, and follow-up work with the consultant(s).

Click here to sign up!

What We’ll Be Doing!

Animal Care Operations Visit
The Animal Care Operations site-visit reviews current animal care policies and procedures including the following:

  • Facility design and Environment: including indoor building surfaces, drainage, electrical power, noise levels and lighting;
  • Animal housing: including animal safety, enclosure size and working condition, heating, ventilation and air quality, and sound control;
  • Sanitation: including cleaning and disinfection, sanitation protocols and fomite and pest control
  • Shelter management and staffing: current management structure and the number of staff available to feed each animal, clean enclosures and provide socialization and exercise.
  • Intake and adoption procedures, cleaning protocols, and medical processes

The consultant will also spend time talking with organizational leadership and staff to better understand the current stressors for staff in animal care, and areas for which they desire more training and information.

Business Operations Visit
Those organizations that also wish to look at overall operations will also have an on-site business operations site-visit with one of our nonprofit management consultants. During this site-visit, the consultant will spend their time at the shelter getting to know that organization’s operation and meet with leaders, staff and the board members, to better understand:

  • Overall management structure
  • Communications and management issues
  • Current revenue streams and fundraising programs
  • Communications and management issues
  • Board engagement and activity

The nonprofit management consultant will also review organizational documents, including collateral material, fundraising appeals, policies and procedures, and financials to get a full picture of the shelter’s operations.

Shelter/Rescue Report
Following the consultant visits, each group will receive a written report.  The report will provide each shelter or rescue with a roadmap that will help them meet the standards in the new legislation such as:

  • Enhancements they might make to their facilities and animal care protocols in order to enhance the quality of life of the animals in their care regarding
  • Changes they can make to their physical plant and care regimen that will better meet ASV guidelines
  • Strategies for improving their business operations, including policies and procedures, staffing, board activity, and overall management (for those receiving management consulting)
  • Suggestions and resources for funding the changes outlined in the report (for those receiving management consulting)

Follow Up
The consultant(s) will schedule a series of remote meetings (at maximum of eight hours total) with each shelter or rescue to review the findings.  The agenda for these follow up meetings will be tailored to each organization, but might include:

  • Additional training on best practices for animal care for staff and volunteers
  • Assistance developing new policies and protocols for an aspect of animal care or business operations
  • Board training and development activities
  • Assistance developing fundraising plans and/or marketing plans for the shelter

If the shelter or rescue wishes to contract with the NYSAPF Education Fund for an on-going consulting relationship with its consultant, that arrangement will be negotiated separately.