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State Legislation Would Help Homeless People With Pets

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Sacramento, CA — Most homeless shelters in California do not accept pets, and state officials say this creates a difficult decision for those with animals.

California implemented a pilot program recently in Southern California that created grants that non-profits could receive to buy things like crates, food, toys and veterinary services for pets of homeless people. Senate Bill 513 would make the program permanent, and expand it statewide. It would cost an estimated $10-million, annually. It is known as the Pet Assistance and Support program.

The bill, authored by Democratic Senator Bob Hertzberg, passed in the state Senate and is now awaiting consideration in the Assembly. Hertzberg estimates that 10-percent of homeless people in California have pets. Officials report the pilot program has helped care for dogs, cats and even a parrot.