Pet Food Stamps, a non-profit based in New York, is offering food stamps to families across the United States who cannot afford to feed their pets.
The program launched about two weeks ago and is gaining traction—the website is so busy, it is temporarily unavailable. Founder Marc Okon told ABC News he gets several thousand applications daily. With many of the applications including multiple pets, the number of pets applied for so far totals more than 40,000.
“The love of a pet, the therapeutic ability of a pet and things like that are impossible to measure,” Okon said.
Some Twitter feedback showed less enthusiasm about helping those who currently can’t afford it to have pets.
“More Incentives for a dependent Cradle to Grave (even pets!)” Tweets @JediPD.
“Stop the Insanity!” Tweets @KatyAbram
“If you can’t afford to feed your pet you can’t afford a pet,” Tweets @ValentineShow.
“I love pets but really? What about shots, etc?” Tweets @MomSense.
Okon hopes to ease the burden on animal shelters.
The program’s website reads: “The Pet Food Stamps program … has been created to fill the void in the United States Food Stamp program which excludes the purchase of pet food and pet supplies. In these rough economic times, many pet owners are forced to abandon their beloved pet to the ASPCA, North Shore Animal League or other animal shelters due to the inability to pay for their basic food supply and care.”
Income background checks are done to ensure the applicant qualifies. Okon says if people qualifies for federal food assistance, they will probably qualify for pet food stamps.
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