L.A. Supervisors introduce ordinance aimed at keeping homeless people and their pets together

Homeless people with pets may soon have an opportunity to find housing without giving up their furry friends.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors drew up an ordinance on Tuesday that would allow homeless people to keep their pets in all county-funded housing.

"Studies show that individuals with pets experience fewer symptoms of depression and loneliness. Pets provide emotional stability and protection for those who lack that type of support," said Supervisor Hilda Solis and co-author of the ordinance. "For many, a pet may be their only sense of family...No one should have to sever a bond with a pet in order to find housing."

Many supportive housing developments either prohibit dogs and cats or don't have the infrastructure to care for pets, and nearly 10 percent of homeless people have pets, according to Supervisor Solis and second co-author of the ordinance Supervisor Kathryn Barger, citing reports.

"Devoted pet owners who are willing and able to care for their pet should not be forced to make the impossible decision between giving up their beloved pet or maintaining a place to live," said Susan Riggs, senior director of state legislation for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, West Region.

A draft ordinance is expected back in 90 days.

CNS contributed to this report.