California’s about to launch a progressive program aimed at aiding veterans and rehoming shelter pets. Will it affect you?
Free Pets for Vets
Beginning January 1st, 2020, all veterans living in California will be able to adopt a dog or cat from one of the states dozens of public animal shelters for free.
Remember that “free” is a relative term, referring only to the waived adoption fees. Some fees – such as those for licensing or microchipping – may still be applicable to the pets.
California’s Many Veterans
CA is home to over 2,000,000 U.S. military veterans. The new law, originally introduced by State Sen. Ling Ling Chang, serves two purposes: to help find permanent homes for the state’s shelter pets and to combat loneliness and depression among veterans. It’s touted as a win for both rescue groups and mental health advocates.
Each year over 800,000 dogs and cats are taken in by private and public shelters in California. Finding homes for these rescue animals is such a huge issue, the state recently named “Shelter Pet” as the state’s official pet.
Know Before You Adopt
Th “free adoption” promotion for veterans only applies in California public shelters. Private shelters are not required to match the discount.
Veterans should be prepared to present their military IDs or identification documents marked with the “veteran” designation when adopting a pet. It’s also important to note that veterans can only avail themselves of the benefit once every six-months.
Although the language of the law only expressly refers to dogs and cats, shelters seeking homes for lizards, rodents, and livestock may also offer the benefit at their own discretion.