SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Paul Faraci championed legislation that will waive fees for veterans adopting dogs or cats.

“Animals can be incredibly helpful in providing comfort to people who suffer from PTSD,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “We are cutting fees so veterans can access the sense of companionship that animals provide.”

Across the state, pet adoption fees vary widely depending on the organization, ranging from $50 to $275. The measure 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.

"Every little bit helps, and this a small way we can thank those who protect and serve our country,” said Faraci.

House Bill 2500 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.