PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Christmas is coming early for some pets in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Foundation awarded $550,000 in grants to 24 animal welfare programs and shelters that have seen an increased need from pet owners affected by the pandemic and inflation.

The funding will help with a range of services, including reduced-cost veterinary care for pets of low-income households, preparing animals for adoption and rehabilitating injured wildlife.

The Animal Rescue Rhode Island in South Kingstown is getting $40,800. The shelter plans to use part of the money to purchase special sanitation equipment to help keep shelter pets healthier.

“The new sanitation device will help prevent kennel cough, distemper, and other transmissible diseases by disinfecting hard-to-reach areas of the facility such as diagnostic equipment, play areas and food prep rooms,” Animal Rescue Rhode Island Executive Director Liz Skrobisch said. “That, in turn, keeps our animals healthier and ready to go to loving homes.”

Friends of Animals in Need in North Kingstown will be receiving $30,000 for its Veterinary Care Assistance Program.

“Our goal is to keep people and their beloved pets together. These are people whose pets are an integral part of their family life. In some cases, as with the elderly or widowed, their pets fill an emotional void by providing them with love, companionship, comfort and purpose,” Friends of Animals in Need Executive Director Russ Shabo said.

The money is expected to support services for roughly 300 pets.

The Potter League for Animals, which has clinics in East Providence, Middletown and Warwick, is set to receive $110,000. The shelter plans to put the money toward controling the pet population.

This year alone, the organization said they have spayed and neutered more than 5,000 cats and dogs.

The following shelters, organizations and programs are also receiving grants:

  • Animal Rescue Rhode Island
  • Audubon Society of Rhode Island
  • East Greenwich Animal Protection League
  • Foster Parrots
  • Friends of Animals In Need
  • Friends of Central Falls Animals
  • Friends of the Scituate Animal Shelter
  • Historic New England
  • Mystic Aquarium
  • Norman Bird Sanctuary
  • PawsWatch
  • Pawtucket Animal Shelter
  • Potter League for Animals
  • Providence Animal Rescue League
  • R.I. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • RIVMA Companion Animal Foundation
  • Scruffy Paws Animal Rescue
  • Stand Up for Animals
  • Ten Lives Cat Rescue
  • Town of Westerly
  • Vintage Pet Rescue
  • West Place Animal Sanctuary
  • Wildlife Rehabilitators