SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s new budget for 2019-2020 includes $5 million in funding for animal care and other pet-related needs for the state’s homeless population.

The money, part of Sen. Robert Hertzberg’s (D-Van Nuys), Senate Bill 258, would be distributed to qualified homeless shelters to provide veterinary services to people experiencing homelessness.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $214.8 billion budget went into effect on July 1. Part of that budget is $2.4 billion aimed at addressing housing and homelessness.

Front Street Animal Shelter, along with the San Diego Humane Society and the San Francisco SPCA, have led the charge to highlight the importance of the human-animal bond for people in the homeless community.

“Pets are family, the human-animal bond is not diminished whether living on the streets or living in a home. 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,” said Gina Knepp, manager of the City of Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter.

They hope to expand their program and policies already in place. This includes providing veterinary care, food, behavior training, spay and neuter services. 

“At the end of the day that pet has someone who loves them, a name. [They] may not have a house, [but] that bond and love connection between people and animals isn’t any different,” Knepp said.

To learn more about how you can be involved or if you'd like to donate, click here.

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