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Food Stamps for Pets? You Bet!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 12:00pm
dog with it's tongue out

A new donation-based program called Pet Food Stamps wants to ensure that furry members of low-income families receive the pet food they need. The new program is open to anyone in the United States, and already more than 45,000 pets are registered, Marc Okon, the program’s founder and executive director, told ABC News.

Approved applicants to the program receive pet food from the retailer Pet Food Direct for six months, Okon says.

The program does not receive federal funding. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it,” Okon told ABC News.

Approximately 46.6 million people used the federal food stamp program in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Do you think food stamps for pets are a good idea?

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Kim Livingston

YES!!!!! Just because someone has a lower income DOES NOT mean they shouldn't have pets because they can't afford them! If you are willing to love a pet (adopt preferably!), and take care of them for their ENTIRE life then you should be able to have one and get help paying for them if necessary! Yahoo! Let's home some of our strays and rescues!!!!

yael

It might reduce the amount of pets ending up in a shelter. Great idea!

Carissa

The people who tell you "if you can't afford it don't have a pet" are the same people telling you not to dump your dog at a shelter the second you fall on hard times. Complete contradictions. I lost my job in November and have been unable to find work. Should I have to surrender my dog because my employment status changes? I don't believe so. This is a great way to help struggling pet owners.

Dorothy Gail Bruner

I am low income and am trying to find out how to sign up for this program?

Paula Roberts

Yes it is an awesome idea!!!!!Just PLEASE be sure this program is not ABUSED!!! It is desperately needed in today's time!!!

Sandy feet

Yes yes yes and I would contribute gladly.

Tonya

Iwould like to apply for the pet food program.

Deborah

absolutely. So many pets are in shelters now because families are losing their jobs and homes and can't take care of their animals. They need to eat too.

Christine

Yes, I believe foodstamps for animals r a great idea!

Laura

This is a wonderful idea! I agree that the public probably would not approve of government funding, but I would not be so quick to judge those who are in need of the program as one of the posters above. These people may have had their pets prior to the economic downturn that affected so many, or have recently experienced an illness or other traumatic event that affected their finances. There are so many pets euthanized or waiting in shelters because there is no one to take care of them. Many people who have the financial resources to feed 10, 20, or 300 dogs do not have the space or time for them. I think this program is a great way to spread some of that wealth so that these animals can have a home. Having a pet is also a great way to teach children kindness and respect for animals. I agree that there are too many people who have made food stamps a lifestyle choice, but that doesn't apply to everyone, and it certainly isn't the animals' fault. Without the program, more animals could be surrendered to shelters and euthanized. Kudos to Mr. Okon, and best of luck with this worthy endeavor.

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