After 50 years of service and two years of negotiations, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is donating its Edgartown property and equipment, as well as a new $10,000 fund to help low-income pet owners with veterinary bills, to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard.

MSPCA president and chief executive Carter Luke told the Dukes County commissioners Wednesday night that the new fund for pet owners in need would help keep together families who otherwise might have to give up their animal for adoption.

The Edgartown animal shelter site was donated by the late Katharine M. Foote to the MSPCA in 1947.

In 2009, a financial shortfall at the MSCPA would have seen the Island facility closed. Instead, the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard was formed by volunteers as a public-private partnership with the county. Since then, the MSPCA has provided an open-ended, no-cost lease for the group to use the facility.

“I can’t believe what the Island has done in the past couple years,” Mr. Luke said. “Thank you for your leadership, and congratulations on what you’ve been able to accomplish ... the government did something really great, recognized a public need and took a leadership role.”

Mr. Luke thanked the board of the animal shelter, the commissioners and the volunteers for their dedication throughout the years, but singled out Mrs. Footes’s contribution to the Vineyard.

“We’re glad to be able to continue the legacy she started umpteen years agoher vision and passion made a difference,” Mr. Luke said. “It’s always been more than just about the animals, it’s about the people and animals and families. For your leadership and all those others who worked hard I want to make sure I say thank you. We at the MSPCA really appreciate it.”

Chairman of the county commissioners Tristan Israel said, “From day one the Island has stepped up and supported this effort.

“We can come together [as an Island] every once in a while and do some good stuff. This is a good example of that.”

The animal shelter has applied for nonprofit status and expects to be recognized as a tax-exempt, 501c3 charitable organization under the Internal Revenue Service within the year.