California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets

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Veterans in California will soon be able to adopt dogs and cats from public shelters for free.

The more than two million veterans living in that state will have adoption fees waived at public shelters beginning Jan. 1, 2020, if they show their driver's license or ID card with the veteran designation on it to shelter personnel. So those wanting a new puppy or kitten from Santa may have to wait a few weeks after the holiday if they want to get the discount.

Although the bill waives adoption fees, additional costs such as licensing and microchipping may apply.

While the language of the new law specifically mentions only dogs and cats, other animals -- including reptiles, livestock and birds -- may also be available for free adoption depending on the individual shelter's policies.

Related: Check out state veterans benefits where you live

The law limits the free dog and cat adoptions to one every six months.

Private shelters are not affected by the new law.

State Sen. Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), who introduced the bill, said, "This is a big win for veterans and shelter animals. I'm glad we can reduce the barriers for bringing together veterans seeking companion animals and pets in need of a home."

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