Veterans In California Can Adopt Shelter Dogs And Cats For Free,Starting In 2020

We have some great news for veterans and all the shelter dogs and cats living in California.  Starting in 2020, veterans will be able to adopt a dog or cat from an animal shelter for free!

This new law provides an extra benefit for our deserving California veterans and also will help save the lives of countless dogs and cats looking for a home.

In an attempt to help with the great need to find furever homes for shelter animals and help veterans, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 245, which reads in part:

A public animal shelter shall not charge an adoption fee for a dog [or cat] if the person adopting the dog presents to the public animal shelter a current and valid driver’s license or identification card with the word “VETERAN” printed on its face pursuant to Section 12811 of the Vehicle Code.  A public animal shelter may limit the number of dogs [and cats] adopted from that public animal shelter pursuant to this section to one dog each six-month period.

“This is a big win for veterans and shelter animals,” said State Senator Liang Liang Chang, who authored the legislation. According to Chang’s office, California is home to 2 million military veterans, including many who cope with PTS. She said a companion animal could help within their recovery efforts.

“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,” Chang said. “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.”

The law goes into effect January 2020.  To adopt a free dog or cat, veterans simply have to show their California Identification card with the veteran designation.  The shelter reserves the right to limit how many dogs or cats a person can adopt.  There are future plans to require microchips on the animals.

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