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?
Here at the ASPCA we often chat about how two cats are better than one. However, for a solo kitty who is accustomed to being king or queen of your castle, er, house, introducing a new feline friend to your home can be a bit stressful.
If you decide to bring a second cat into your home, proceed slowly and with patience. It takes most cats 8 to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. By following these three steps, you can make sure that the transition goes smoothly:
Making the introduction: Allow the cats to smell and hear each other, without any visual or physical contact just yet. Give each cat his or her own food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, and bed on separate sides of a door in your home. After a few days, switch the cats’ locations so they can check out each other’s scents. Try playing with the cats near the door. They might even reach under the door to play “paws” with each other!
Seeing eye-to-eye: After a week or so, assuming neither cat has shown signs of aggression (hissing, growling, etc.), let the cats meet each other face-to-face. You might want to put a baby gate or screen door between them. Set each cat down a few feet away from the barrier. When the cats notice each other, call out their names and toss them some tasty treats. Over the next few days, continue to offer treats, meals and playtime close to the barrier.
Together at last:Supervise your cats’ initial interactions very carefully. Allow them to spend time together when things are low-stress, such as after strenuous play. Keep a spray bottle on hand in case they begin to fight. As the cats become more familiar with each other, allow them to gradually spend more and more time together.
As winter storm “Nemo” threatens to snow in a large swath of the U.S., we’re making sure we’re ready for whatever this weather brings. If you or a loved one is bracing for the storm, take heed of the following reminders for pet parents.
• Bring your animals indoors! A snowstorm is no place for a pet. Store up lots of stuff to do for your pets who are used to more outside time. • Stock up ahead of time on all pet food and medicine your animals may need over the weekend—travel may be much more difficult or impossible in the event of a blizzard. • Prepare for a power outage, especially if your family includes fish, reptiles or pocket pets. • Have a coat and booties ready for any dog who needs them. Be ready to protect your pets from very strong wind and cold. • Make sure your pets wear identification at all times (even better: have them microchipped as well) to dramatically increase your chances of reunification should one become lost. • Keep your dog on a leash after heavy snowfall. Dogs are much more likely to get lost during winter, especially during and after a blizzard. • Watch out for ice melts! Snow-melting salt can be very painful to dogs’ feet and can make pups ill if ingested, so make sure to clean off your dog’s paws with a moist washcloth after a walk.
Valentine’s Day is just days away—and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t planning to spend at least part of it with the furry loves of our lives. If you’re looking for an excuse to spend some time with your pets on February 14, here are a few ways you can put some four-legged fun into the holiday:
• Take a romantic stroll. Getting active with your pets is a great way to strengthen your bond. Healthy adult dogs, for example, need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day, so show your pet how much you love her by taking her on a jaunt through the park at sunset.
At the ASPCA, we see many feline victims of High Rise Syndrome each year, but perhaps none so lucky as three-year-old Pereque, who miraculously survived a fall from a five-story apartment building window right onto a spiked fence.
After his fall, Pereque’s pet parent rushed him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where he underwent surgery with ASPCA Director of Surgery Dr. J’mai Gayle that same day.
Pereque sustained only non-life threatening injuries—in fact, he didn’t even have a broken bone! Fortunately for Pereque, the spikes on the fence just missed his femoral artery, and all of his major organs were unharmed.
ASPCA Veterinarian Dr. Laura Niestat also treated Pereque during his stay at AAH and released him to his pet parent three days later.
“I believe he ultimately did quite well,” Dr. Gayle says.
We’re so glad we were able to treat this resilient kitty when he needed us most!
For more information about our emergency veterinary care services, please visit the ASPCA Animal Hospital online.