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Times are tough, no doubt about that. But it seems that people have just now realized that poverty also trickles down to pets. So, a non-profit Pet Food Stamps program is seeking to help fill in the gap for low-income families that might be struggling. The group that started the program says that the reason pets need food stamps is because a lot of families are abandoning their pets or having them put to sleep.
“We feel that should not happen and provide free pet food to prevent that decision [high-kill shelter] from happening,” Pet Food Stamps founder Marc Okon explained.
Given that pet owners need to vaccinate their animals and provide other sometimes costly care, petfoodstamps.org is meant to help pick up the slack and help those who are less economically fortunate.
Anyone receiving public assistance through the United States Food Stamp program is prohibited from using the funds to purchase pet food and supplies. “There is zero ability to use food stamp money in any state in the U.S. for any pet food whatsoever, even though you are able to use food stamps for unhealthy things like Coca-Cola (which gets about $4 billion a year from food stamps),” Okon said.
To keep Americans from having to choose between feeding their pets or themselves, dog and cat owners currently receiving public assistance can apply for help. A new, updated petfoodstamps.org website will be operational by the end of the month and Okon says anyone interested can, “Go to our website, petfoodstamps.org, fill out the application, and within six to eight weeks you get a call back. [You] verify that you are receiving public assistance, by getting an award letter of benefits from the state agency providing the benefits.”
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