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LA County Wants To Keep Homeless People And Their Pets Together

Hollywood: A homeless man who lives inside his car repairs a bicycle as his dog Honey and neighbor's dog Niko stand guard on September 23, 2015 (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today took steps to move forward a motion that would require any county-funded housing to allow pets.

The motion, authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, came from the recognition that about 10 percent of homeless people have pets to whom they are deeply bonded -- and that if the majority of affordable housing options don't allow animals, those individuals may feel forced to choose between leaving their pet behind and securing housing.

"A pet may be the only source of comfort for senior citizens and people with disabilities," said Solis in a statement. "In addition, many victims of domestic violence hesitate to apply for supportive or permanent housing after they realize they have to abandon a trusted pet. No one should have to sever a bond with a pet in order to find housing."

The motion mirrors a similar move by the city, which recently took steps to proceed with a motion that would require all city-funded affordable rental housing to allow pets.

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The vote by the county's Board of Supervisors sends the initiative to the Chief Executive Office's Homeless Initiative, the Department of Animal Care and Control and the Community Development Commission, who are tasked with drafting an ordinance within the next 90 days.

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