It is with great sadness that the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announces the passing of its President Emeritus, Ernest J. Finocchio on October 26th due to complications arising from COVID-19. Dr. Finocchio served as the 10th President and General Agent of the Rhode Island SPCA for 18 years, retiring in March of 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. He was one of the first veterinarians in the State of Rhode Island with a dedicated equine practice and he owned and operated New England Horse Care Center for 35 years prior to assuming leadership of the Rhode Island SPCA.
While at the Rhode Island SPCA, he successfully advocated for significant enhancements to Rhode Island’s animal welfare laws, expanded the Society’s volunteer base and instituted major improvements to the Society’s shelter and facilities, all while continuing to be directly connected with the diverse constituencies served by the Society.
Dr. Finocchio was the founder of the Marvin Fund, named after the disabled black Labrador Retriever he adopted who became a celebrity in his own right. The Marvin Fund provides direct financial assistance for necessary veterinary care to low income pet owners and has assisted thousands of family pets since its inception in 2010.
Dr. Finocchio was named the Veterinarian of the year by the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Society in 2019. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him, particularly those who worked with him at the Society.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dr. Finocchio to the Marvin Fund.