Senator Meg Loughran Cappel

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois veterans will be able to adopt a pet without paying fees on Jan. 1, thanks to a new law from State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line to protect our freedom,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “Everyone deserves companionship, and we have seen the benefits pets can give veterans including improved health and overall happiness.”

Across the state, pet adoption fees vary widely depending on the organization, ranging from $50 to $275. Loughran Cappel’s new law requires 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.

“This new law is a small way to show our veterans we appreciate them,” said Loughran Cappel. “I will always be an advocate for uplifting our armed forces, and I was proud to pass legislation that extends our sincere gratitude for their sacrifices, giving them an opportunity to adopt a pet without worrying about the fees.”

House Bill 2500 takes effect Jan. 1, 2024