Senator Loughran Cappel

SPRINGFIELD – Veterans deserve companionship – that’s why State Senator Loughran Cappel passed a measure out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Thursday that would waive fees for veterans adopting dogs or cats.

“There is a special bond people share with their animals,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “For our veterans, this bond can help their health and happiness.”

Across the state, pet adoption fees vary widely depending on the organization, ranging from $50 to $275. Loughran Cappel’s measure would require animal shelters and animal control facilities to waive the adoption fee for military veterans in Illinois.

For our returning troops, the benefits of bonding with a pet is important to aiding the transition back to civilian life. The bond created between people and animals can reduce grief, lessen loneliness, and improve mental health and overall well-being. Pets have the ability to improve the lives of veterans and, likewise, veterans can improve the lives of sheltered animals by giving them a home.

“Showing recognition and appreciation to military veterans and active duty service personnel goes a long way,” said Loughran Cappel. “This is a small expression of that.”

House Bill 2500 passed the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.