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A California bill wants to set aside money for pet care at homeless shelters -- what are the benefits and challenges of furry friends in shelters?




Homeless encampment resident Tammy Schuler kisses one of her pet dogs  beside a row of tents and tarps that line the Santa Ana River bicycle path, near Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, January 25, 2018.
Homeless encampment resident Tammy Schuler kisses one of her pet dogs beside a row of tents and tarps that line the Santa Ana River bicycle path, near Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, January 25, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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A measure proposed by state Senator Robert Hertzberg is looking to expand shelter to homeless people and their pets.

The bill, SB 258, would allocate $5 million to provide basic care, veterinary services and food to pets belonging to residents experiencing homelessness. With around a quarter of all homeless people across the nation living in California, and with up to 10% of those individuals being pet-owners, many people who are homeless seek pet-friendly housing. According to Hertzberg, this bill is an effort to reduce the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets. We discuss the pros and cons of pet-friendly facilities with local shelter-operators.

If you are homeless or have experienced homelessness, what do you think of having more pet-friendly shelters? Have you run into issues with animals in shelters? Or has owning a pet been a barrier to getting transitional housing?

Call us at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Anne Miskey, CEO of Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena

Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO of LA Family Housing, a homeless housing service based in the San Fernando Valley; she tweets @SKGLAFH

Andy Bales, CEO at Union Rescue Mission, a private Christian homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row