The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a program enabling Riverside County military veterans to procure impounded pets from any county shelter without paying a cent in adoption fees.
The “Pets for Vets” policy, submitted by Supervisors Jeff Hewitt and Manuel Perez, makes permanent a practice started by Department of Animal Services Director Rob Miller, who has since left the agency.
Under the newly board-authorized program, adoption fees will be waived for any current or past member of the U.S. armed services, as well as reservists and members of the California National Guard, seeking to acquire a dog or cat from one of the county’s four shelters.
Adoption fees generally run $20. Veterans will still be required to pay licensing fees, which include the cost of spay/neuter surgeries and microchipping.
However, these fees — which can run anywhere from $8 to $300, depending on the size of the animal and the city in which it will reside — may also be dropped at the discretion of the department, Hewitt and Perez said.
According to the supervisors, the program was found to be among those beneficial to veterans based on results of a survey commissioned by the county last year.
The Riverside County Veterans Survey, which garnered more than 1,500 individual responses, showed that many vets contending with depression, behavioral dilemmas and suicidal inclinations gain comfort from having pets around them, lessening emotional trauma.
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