EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A longtime member and former president of the Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) died Monday due to complications from COVID-19, according to the non-profit.
Dr. E.J. Finnochio led the animal welfare organization for 18 years prior to retiring in March 2019.
“A tireless and dedicated crusader for animal welfare, Dr. Finocchio was known and respected for his tireless advocacy on behalf of creatures great and small,” the RISPCA said in a statement.
Finnochio, according to the RISPCA, was one of the state’s first veterinarians with a dedicated equine practice and owned New England Horse Care Center for 35 years prior to taking the helm of RISPCA.
He also advocated for significant enhancements to Rhode Island’s animal welfare laws and founded the Marvin Fund, which provides financial assistance to low income pet owners who can’t afford necessary veterinary care.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Finnochio’s funeral service will be private. In lieu of flowers, the RISPCA asks people donate to the Marvin Fund in his memory.