March 25, 2019
SACRAMENTO – Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) announced that his bill to provide more shelter options for individuals experiencing homelessness and their pets cleared the Senate Human Services Committee.
SB 258 would allocate $5,000,000 in grants to be distributed to homeless shelters that provide shelter, food, and basic veterinary services to the pets of people experiencing homelessness.
According to Pets of the Homeless, an estimated five to ten percent of the 3.5 million Americans that are experiencing homelessness have dogs or cats. Unfortunately, many of those individuals refuse housing and forego access to services because doing so may require them to abandon their pet. In Los Angeles, only six shelters out of 46 in the region allow pets onsite,.
“Over two thirds of the homeless population in our state is unsheltered, and yet there are far too many empty beds in shelters across Los Angeles County each night people don’t want to leave their best friend on the street,” said Senator Hertzberg. “This bill may be about pets, but in caring for pets, we are supporting both ends of the leash. This is a common sense way to quickly help people get off the street.”
Senator Hertzberg was joined in the hearing by supporters Gina Knepp, the Manager of Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, and Janet Hendrickson, President of Changing the Streets.
SB 258 next heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Media Contact: Katie Hanzlik
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 313
 Pets of the Homeless, Find Resources Near You, accessed 2/13/2019. https://www.petsofthehomeless.org/get-help/find-locations/#latitude=34.0397173740704&longitude=-118.33432210703126&zoom=11&types%255B%255D=shelters
 Homeless Shelter Directory, Los Angeles, Homeless Shelters & Services For The Needy, accessed 2/13/2019. https://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/city.cgi?city=Los%20Angeles,&state=CA