Veterans in California Can Now Adopt a Shelter Pet for Free

(TT) — Good news! As of January 1, 2020, veterans in California are exempt from paying fees for adopting a furry friend from an animal shelter.

According to Alt 105.3 Radio, Senate Bill 245 was signed into effect by Governor Gavin Newsom. The law calls on animal shelters throughout the state to waive pet adoption fees for military veterans.

“This is a big win for veterans and shelter animals,” said State Sen. Liang Liang Chang, who authored the legislation. According to Chang’s office, California is home to approximately 2 million military veterans – including many who cope with PTSD. Having the companionship of an animal could help with 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,” said Chang. “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.”

To confirm the veteran’s status, shelters will use the state’s existing veterans’ driver’s license designation.

The Benefits of Animal Companionship

According to Maggie O’Haire, PhD, assistant professor of human-animal interaction at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in Indiana, pet ownership offers significant benefits – both physically and emotionally.

At the 2017 American Veterinary Medical Association Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. O’Haire explained that 63% of American households have a companion animal. Although caring for a pet can be expensive, caring for an animal yields many benefits.

For instance, companion animals provide non-judgemental social support for people. Pets also facilitate social interactions between people to help create social networks within communities. Furthermore, animals can make people more popular and even help them get dates.

“The research suggests that animals make us look friendlier, happier, more approachable, and less threatening,” she explained. These are but a few benefits, according to American Veterinarian.

By Mandy Froelich | | Republished with permission

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