Food Stamps for Pets?
If you were ever worried about Fido or Mr. Whiskers going hungry because of hard economic times, fear not, Snoopy and Felix will not go without.
Most people know that the traditional Food Stamp program (known as SNAP) is run by the Federal Government and administered by the states, but this is NOT a government program. So before you get all worked up, fear not, Rover is not getting your money...unless you have donated to the program, which is run by a non-profit organization called Pet Food Stamps that helps pet owners who can’t afford to support their animal friends.
“The Pet Food Stamps program … has been created to fill the void in the United States Food Stamp program which excludes the purchase of pet food and pet supplies. In these rough economic times, many pet owners are forced to abandon their beloved pet to the ASPCA, North Shore Animal League or other animal shelters due to the inability to pay for their basic food supply and care,” the organization’s website explains.
The New Mexico organization opened up shop two weeks ago and has had 12,000 requests for assistance. This should tell us that the days of leaving your pets to fend for themselves is over, something we saw at the onset of the economic crisis in 2008. Pets are family and their owners genuinely care about them.
“I received a letter from a woman who is on food stamps,” founder Marc Okon said. “She lost her job recently. She’s a single mother of a severely disabled young boy, and she said his only companion and his only mode of communication is with the family dog and they’re thinking about getting rid of the dog because they can’t afford to feed it. It’s people like that that this program is aimed to help.”
The Pet Food Stamps program allows people to apply for help through PetFoodDirect, an independent retailer. You can also get information to make donations, as well.
“Once you are a verified and approved member of the Pet Food Stamps program, our staff will place your pet food order with www.PetFoodDirect.com based on the amount awarded with your application approval and your pets needs,” the group’s website reads.