BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Anthony Noble, 33, is an army veteran who said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I am not going to lie, there are times, for a lack of better terms, I relapsed. I have had really bad days where my depression or anxiety, I can’t get out of bed,” Noble said.
But Noble finds healing and support from his service dog Artemis.
“If I am having a nightmare, she actually jumps up in my bed, and lays down on top of me,” Noble said.
That is why lawmakers passed new legislation that will waive adoption fees for veterans at public animal shelters across the state starting January 1, 2020.
However, Kern County is ahead of the statewide move. Kern County Animal Services and Bakersfield Animal Care Center already waive adoption fees for veterans. But local experts said not everyone knows about the resources.
“I think that now we will see an actual push with the state law, that will actually get that message out to veteran organizations at large, so I think it is going to reach a much large group of veterans,” executive director of the Bakersfield Animal Care Center Julie Johnson said.
Noble’s relationship with Artemis is a thriving example of the love we can give animals, and the power animals have on humans.
“Where I was when I was on my medication and before I had either one of my animals, looking at where I am now, I am two completely different people,” Noble said.
All you have to do is show valid military identification to get your adoption fee waived.
This law only impacts public animal shelters, however the local SPCA gives 50 percent off adoption fees for veterans.