Pets Deserve Food Stamps Just As Much As the Rest of the Family

Inspiring 44

puppy food bowlHey, ready to disagree with somebody on something? Here's an idea that some people are bound to love and others are bound to hate: Food stamps ... for pets. Considering the (unfair) criticism human beings on food stamps get, I'm guessing the very thought of such assistance for animals won't go over well with certain people. (Those damn freeloading pets! Get a job, Whiskers!) But personally, I think it's a fabulous idea, one that has the potential to literally change lives for the better -- human, canine, feline, and so on.

And even the most conservative, anti-hand-out types won't be able to complain when they find out where the money is coming from. (Hint: NOT the government.)

Based in New York, the Pet Food Stamps program is donation-based and open to anyone in the United States who meets need and income qualifications. Once accepted, enrollees receive pet food each month from Pet Food Direct for six months; in the past 2 weeks, over 45,000 pets have signed up.

What a relief this must be for those families! Times are tough and for so many, it's hard enough just keeping the humans sitting at the table fed, let alone the hungry dog waiting underneath the table, hoping somebody slips him some chicken on the sly. But the thought of abandoning or even giving away a beloved pet because you can't afford to buy food is just heartbreaking.

Look, I get it if some people are rolling their eyes right now. I wasn't allowed to have animals (not counting goldfish, which I don't) growing up, so it wasn't until the fairly recent arrival of our Pit Bull/Eskimo mix that I truly developed an understanding of what it means to be a pet owner. And honestly, I was surprised to discover that in some ways, it's not all that different from being a parent. Maybe that should've been obvious -- everybody knows puppies poop all over the place and whimper and chew on everything and need shots and stuff -- but, as with parenting, I just wasn't prepared for how much I would love this little thing. (I especially wasn't prepared for how much she would love me!) Maybe, before I had this experience for myself, I wouldn't have understood the need for Pet Food Stamps either.

But there IS a need!

What do you think about the idea of food stamps for pets?


Image via Timothy Joel Wright/Flickr

finances, home finances, pets


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Yep, I can feel the wrath coming ,but I do think pets should be able to have some kind of assistance, but I'm one of those people who like animals more than people. But I see both sides;if you are on assistance;why do you have animals,I get that. Maybe for the elderly who sometimes only have a pet to talk to. As much as I like the idea I just can't get behind the gov. Subsidizing something like that.

Erinly Erinly

I think it's an amazing idea! SO many people have had to give up their beloved dogs and cats because the economy tanked and they lost their job or took a significant pay cut and either had to move and couldn't take their dog or cat or because they had to eliminate all expenses that weren't absolutely vital (rent, food for people, etc). It breaks my heart to see so many animals go to shelters and potentially be put down. My parents actually adopted the sweetest German Shepard because her family had to surrender her. We even tried to find out who the family was to support the dog monetarily and let them keep her until they got their feet back on the ground, but it just wasn't doable. We have 2 dogs and they really are our babies and I just cannot say enough good things about this idea!!

Jamie Hancock

the food isn't the problem for me it's keeping up with the vaccinations and heartworm/flea meds that is so expensive.

Nelli... NellieAthome

PRIMA487 - Please *read* the article. The program is NOT funded by the government, it is funded by donations.

As for people needing assistance - in this economy hundreds, if not thousands of people are needed help to make ends meet because of unemployment or illness. To add to their distress by forcing them to give up a beloved family pet is not the right or compassionate thing to do.


Alexa... AlexaAdams

I think its a great idea

Venae Venae

On the one hand, if you can't afford to feed a pet, you shouldn't have one; but then again, if you have to give them away, they usually get put to sleep.  Pets can't help themselves like people can - they are dependent on us.  I hate to see wonderful animals die simply for lack of money.

This is a wonderful idea - people helping people!!  I wish it could expand for shots/heartworm/flea expenses - these cost way more than pet food.

Valerie Metzger

As long as it's not government funded, I don't mind it. The government is in enough debt already. What's wrong with the community helping each other? We could use a few more people voluntarily helping others.

Sweet... SweetMelancholy

Since it's not funded by the government I'm for it. I do not think people should get pets unless they can afford them though. But I understand that in this economy people could get a pet while they have a job and then end up in a bad situation. If that's the case this is wonderful since so many unwanted animals get dumped on the street or end up killed by shelters. I'm still not sure what these people are supposed to do about vaccinations, vet bills, flea & heartworm meds, etc. if they can't even afford food. Those things are still expensive and a necessity too.

Angela Haverstock

This is an excellent idea...people helping other people. That is the way it should be.

bills... billsfan1104

This is wonderful as long as my tax dollars are not going for it. That's because I am tired of my daughter bringing home abandoned kittens and cats.

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