SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — One state is working to help the animal companions of individuals living on the streets.
According to FOX 2, California’s newly adopted budget, which went into effect last week, includes $5 million in grants to fund veterinary and other care for pets of homeless people.
The money will help place veterinarians at qualified homeless shelters, allowing those living on the streets to access care for their pets.
Animal welfare advocates are reportedly applauding this effort, saying it addresses the issue that many homeless pet owners avoid shelters because they tend to have no pet policies.
“The positive impact on the lives of pet owners experiencing homelessness will rise with this humane and humanitarian effort supporting both ends of the leash,” Gina Knepp, animal care services manager of the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, told FOX 2. “If we are ever to solve the homeless crisis, we must address the animal component. Pets are family, the human animal bond is not diminished whether living on the streets or living in a home.”
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, promised to make homelessness and the housing crisis his top priority. $2.4 billion of his $214.8 billion budget calls for funds to address those concerns.