CAMARILLO, Calif. - California veterans will be able to adopt a pet from an animal shelter for free starting January 1.
Thousands of dogs, cats, turtles and more are brought into the Ventura County Animal Shelter every year. Come January 1, all California shelters will offer free pet adoptions to Veterans.
“I think this is great,” said Randy Friedman, public relations manager at Ventura County Animal Shelter. “To be able to match up an animal that needs somebody with somebody who needs an animal.”
Governor Newson signed a bill which calls on animal shelters throughout the state to waive pet adoption fees for military veterans. California is home to 2 million veterans, including many who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“It is great,” said Friedman. “We have a lot of veterans in our county. We even have three vets who are employees here.”
Including Daisy Capellupo who served six years in the Navy and is now an Animal Control Officer for Ventura County.
“It took a couple of years until I got out before I was in a position to bring a pet home, but I definitely did,” said Capellupo. “Actually the first pet that I brought home I actually adopted from here. What better way to honor our veterans by giving them an opportunity to have a friend to comfort them and support them.”
Kendra Guldan is also a veteran and is a veterinarian assistant at the Ventura County Animal Shelter.
“It gives them a sense of family when they are alone and they have their animals to take care of and it helps them deal with becoming a civilian again and getting back into that life style.”
Adopted animals are up on their vaccinations, spayed and neutered, and treated for fleas and worms. Veterans will be responsible for a small licensing fee, but other than that the adoptions will won't cost them.
“It will definitely get the animals adopted and it is a veteran helping an animal, at the same time it is the animal helping the veteran so it is a two way street,” said Guldan.