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Vets Get Pets program covers adoption fees for Nebraska veterans
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Vets Get Pets program covers adoption fees for Nebraska veterans

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Vets Get Pets program

The Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs is launching a new “Vets Get Pets” program to help pay veterans’ animal adoption fees through the sale of special license plates.

A new program offers to cover adoption fees for Nebraska veterans looking for a furry friend.

The Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs Vets Get Pets program is offering to cover up to $350 in pet adoption fees for Nebraska veterans, according to a news release.

Veterans must be registered in the Nebraska Veterans' Registry to qualify and adopt from an organization registered with the Nebraska Rescue Council. The Vets Get Pets program will distribute the funds directly to the adoption agency once the adoption is finalized, the release said.

A specialty Vets Get Pets license plate was launched in January that drivers can purchase through the Nebraska DMV. All proceeds from sales of the plates will go directly to funding the adoption fee program, the release said. The license plate program was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature by Sen. Anna Wishart.

As of June 30, 376 license plates have been purchased, which cost $5 for the alphanumeric version and $30 for the custom message version.

Studies show that having a dog can help veterans with PTSD feel calmer, less lonely and depressed and less worried about the safety of themselves and their families, according to the program website. Owning pets can also lead to physical and mental health benefits such as increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities and increased opportunities for socialization.

More information about the Vets Get Pets program can be found at veterans.nebraska.gov/vetsgetpets.

"We're excited to offer this new benefit to Nebraska veterans," NDVA director John Hilgert said. "It really is a win across the board, for our state's veterans and their families, for animal rescues throughout the state and for the pets that will be adopted."

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Reach the writer at lstephens@journalstar.com or 402-473-7241.

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Luna Stephens is a journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is originally from Lawrence, Kansas and is passionate about the transformative power of journalism.

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