California has more military veterans than any other state, with nearly 2 million veterans calling it home. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, but find solace in dogs and cats.
Multiple studies have proven that dogs and cats are good for our health. The state of California is hoping to help veterans and save the lives of countless shelter pets by waiving adoption fees for military veterans.
In 2015, California declared all shelter pets as the official state pet to raise awareness for all the abandoned shelter animals. The state is taking it a step further by helping veterans and shelter pets with new legislation.
Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 245, which waives pet adoption fees at California animal shelters for veterans. The shelters will confirm the status of veteran by using the state’s veteran driver’s license designation. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2020.
“This is a big win for veterans and shelter animals,” said State Sen. Liang Liang Chang, who authored the bill. “As the saying goes, a dog is a ‘man’s best friend.’ When I’m home my four-legged companions are a part of my family. Buster and Pepper bring me joy and laughter and I benefit from the positive effects of their companionship. Our brave heroes deserve the same happiness, and I’m glad we can reduce the barriers for bringing together veterans seeking companion animals and pets in need of a home.”
This is a great idea and will hopefully encourage other states to do the same. Adopt don’t shop!
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.