Over the past couple years the economy has hit many families hard. Some have even been forced to give up their dogs because they can no longer afford to adequately care for them. Pet Food stamps, a new non-profit organizati, is hoping to help families avoid having to give up their pets.
Pet Food Stamps is based out of New York and is offering “food stamps” for low income families that can’t afford to feed their pets. The current United States Food Stamp Program excludes the purchase of pet food and supplies. Pet Food Stamps is remedying that issue.
Families are not the only ones who will benefit from this program. Shelters are hopeful that this will help reduce the number of dogs on the streets and in overcrowded shelters. Many shelters across the nation have reported a recent increase in the number of pets surrendered by owners because owners have faced economic hardship.
Marc Okon is the creator of the Pet Food Stamps program, which runs off private donations. The program has only been running for a few weeks but has already received an overwhelming amount of applications. “We’re receiving several thousand applications a day, and with each application there may be two or three dogs or two or three cats,” said Okon. “So in total we have over 40,000 cats and dogs already awaiting food.”
Okon is hoping to find corporate sponsorships and steady funding for the program. “The love of a pet, the therapeutic ability of a pet and things like that are impossible to measure. It gives us a great feeling of pride to be able to help people like that and we’re happy to do it,” said Okon. The program is easy to apply for. Anyone who is receiving food stamps or is around or below the poverty level can go to the Pet Food Stamps website to fill out a contact form to be contacted by an enrollment agent and being the application process.
The program currently offers food and hopes to expand into discounted veterinary care as well later in the year. Until the program finds corporate sponsorship and steady funding it relies solely on private donations. If you wish to help you can make a donation through the Pet Food Stamps website.