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Food Stamps ... For Pets?

Posted by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM
  • 15 Replies


Food Stamps ... For Pets?

When man falls on hard times, what's his best friend to do?

A new donation-based program called Pet Food Stamps aims to provide food stamps for pets of low-income families and for food stamp recipients who otherwise could not afford to feed their pets, reported ABC affiliate KVIA in Las Cruces, N.M.

Based in New York, the program is open to anyone in the United States. More than 45,000 pets have already been signed up in the past two weeks, according to the program's founder and executive director Marc Okon. Once need and income is verified, the families will receive pet food each month from pet food retailer Pet Food Direct for a six-month period.

"We're not looking for government funding at this point," Okon told ABCNews.com. "Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it."

The only way to apply for the program is through an online application, but Okon said applications would be accepted through mail once the program moved to its new office.

Okon said the program's nonprofit status was still pending.

There is currently no federal pet food stamp program in place, although the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service tries to provide protection for animals in case of emergencies or natural disasters. The 1966 Animal Welfare Act also makes no mention of providing food for pets.

Okon's program isn't revolutionary. Other animal shelters and rescue leagues around the country, such as the Washington Animal Rescue League, have been providing pet food banks, in addition to discounted pet care, for years.

"One of our missions is to provide income-qualified families with discounted pet care, vaccinations, vaccine clinics, neutered clinics and vet care," said Washington Animal Rescue League spokesman Matt Williams. "We have a new medical center on site. … We also have a food bank run entirely on donations."

The new pet food stamp program comes at a when monthly food stamp assistance could be phased out. A temporary food stamp boost for low-income families was initiated in April 2009 to help offset the effects of the 2008 recession and is set to expire on Oct. 31, 2013, unless Congress passes legislation to extend the benefits.

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

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by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM
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Replies (1-10):
specialwingz
by Corey on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM
4 moms liked this

With 33M people out of jobs due to out-sourcing, I'm not surprised at the number of people utilizing food stamps.  You see a lot of negativity on CM about people on PA.  I don't judge.  Although I didn't go on PA, my job was sent to Malaysia (without me).  It wasn't exactly devastating, as at my age, I was pretty tired of working my life away.  So, I went a better route.

But, I can certainly empathize with others who were not so lucky to be able to do what I did.  And, I will never judge them for utilizing PA.

Many of those families do have pets.  And, like in my family, those pets are members of the family.  And, they deserve to be fed just as much as anyone else in the house.  Many on PA were't always in need of it.  And, they had their furry family members before the economy fell through.

I really don't know what to think about PA for pets.  But, I can say that I wouldn't mind a person buying pet food with their food stamps.  And, if the pet PA thing helps keep family pets from having to go to the shelters and being euthanized, then, I think it's a good thing.

Our society (a large amount, not all) seems to think that most people are on PA because they are lazy and want to be.  But, that simply isn't the case.  And, until one has been in the situation, one shouldn't jump to conclusions and judge others.

AzariahsMother
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Hmmmm 

DawnPratt23
by Dawn on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM
1 mom liked this
As someone who has rescued a fair amount of pets through the yrs I like this program, especially that it isn't a govt program. There are many programs to help poor with pet needs, medical and such.

My Orange fluffy squeak was a rescue kitty that I fostered before adopting. Because I was a foster provider, all his medical, shots, being fixed were paid for by the shelter.
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DawnPratt23
by Dawn on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM
1 mom liked this

Squeak with Jazzy.
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JakeandEmmasMom
by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM
4 moms liked this

 This is a privately funded program, not a government program.  I think it's a wonderful thing for people who have pets and then fall on hard times.  It would make the situation worse if they had to give up a beloved family member during already hard times.

nmaxwell816
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 10:22 PM

I don't know what to say

a_and_j_momma
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM
I am not saying a word
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ZsMommy
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM
4 moms liked this


Quoting specialwingz:

With 33M people out of jobs due to out-sourcing, I'm not surprised at the number of people utilizing food stamps.  You see a lot of negativity on CM about people on PA.  I don't judge.  Although I didn't go on PA, my job was sent to Malaysia (without me).  It wasn't exactly devastating, as at my age, I was pretty tired of working my life away.  So, I went a better route.

But, I can certainly empathize with others who were not so lucky to be able to do what I did.  And, I will never judge them for utilizing PA.

Many of those families do have pets.  And, like in my family, those pets are members of the family.  And, they deserve to be fed just as much as anyone else in the house.  Many on PA were't always in need of it.  And, they had their furry family members before the economy fell through.

I really don't know what to think about PA for pets.  But, I can say that I wouldn't mind a person buying pet food with their food stamps.  And, if the pet PA thing helps keep family pets from having to go to the shelters and being euthanized, then, I think it's a good thing.

Our society (a large amount, not all) seems to think that most people are on PA because they are lazy and want to be.  But, that simply isn't the case.  And, until one has been in the situation, one shouldn't jump to conclusions and judge others.


I agree because we lived it for a time being-good jobs...good income...move and boom. Nothing.So yes we did have to utilize FS as they were intended-for a few months to get back on our feet. and honestly-as you mentioned-we had our pets,just like we had our daughter before we hit crappy times. I get so sick of CM members screaming at others "don't have kids if you can't affor them"-well often the kids are there before hard times come about.And so are the pets.

Problem is there's no garantee the job you have today and the food you have on the table today will be there tomorrow. We lived off of savings til they ran out and jobs were so bad at that time that my husband couldn't even get a job washing dishes at Bob Evans because they considered him "over qualified"(multiple certifications in the IT field). Some people on here really don't get that. I don't look down on FS and if this program wants to help pet owners on hard times-I thinks it great.

occumommy
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I have mixed feelings about this program, mainly because I see a lot of people take on pets when they are already barely surviving themselves. but at the same time, it is not the amimals fault that they may have an irresponsible owner. as well as there are MANY families who had pets before falling on hard times, and they should have that option......

TheBabyFactory4
by Catherine on Feb. 27, 2013 at 1:15 AM
1 mom liked this
I was thinking the same thing. UNLESS you already had the pet BEFORE you fell on hard times then i don't think they should qualify for assistance. Glad its not federally funded though. I know i.struggle to feed my kids so we are not getting.any dogs or more cats. The cat we have is the one i got in.high school before i had any other bills. My parents kept him for a while but they asked me to take him when they moved a few yrs ago.

Quoting occumommy:

I have mixed feelings about this program, mainly because I see a lot of people take on pets when they are already barely surviving themselves. but at the same time, it is not the amimals fault that they may have an irresponsible owner. as well as there are MANY families who had pets before falling on hard times, and they should have that option......

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