$500k grant to benefit pets and state animal programs

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A $500,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation will go to help animal welfare programs statewide, helping individual pets and owners as well as animal facilities anyone can enjoy.

The grant, being distributed Thursday, comes from the foundation’s Program for Animal Welfare, which funds organizations promoting humane treatment of animals as well as others benefiting animals.

The funding was presented at the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in East Providence.

One program that is receiving money includes the Ocean State Animal Coalition. Though based in Warwick, the group’s services van travels the state to provide pet care, including spaying and neutering.

“I’m not one to go for giveaway programs, but when you meet disabled and elderly people, who have nothing in their lives but a pet. It’s very important that we maintain animal-human bond by helping them,” said Dr. Ernest Finocchio of the RISPCA.

The grant is also giving money to help reopen the seal pool at Roger Williams Park Zoo. The pool closed in May due to spring a crack. Now, the zoo expects the pool will be fixed and back open for its residents sometime in 2016.

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