Have you ever sat back and said to yourself that you’d like a pet, but, in this unstable economy, don’t think you’d have the money to support one?
If you answered yes to that question, then Pet Food Stamps is for you!
Pet Food Stamps, is a donation-based program based in New York which aims to supplement the incomes of families below for poverty line with pets so that their furry friends don’t go without food and care.
[The program] already had more than 45,000 pets sign up in the past two weeks.Marc Okan, the program’s founder and director, said it works by having the pet owner’s income verified, then they will give the pet food each month from pet food retailer Pet Food Direct for six months. “We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon said. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”As of now, the only way to apply is by filling out an online application. Okan said once they open their new office, they will begin accepting applications through mail.
They are still waiting to be approved as an official nonprofit.
The country does not have a federal pet food stamp program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service does give protection to pets in emergencies and natural disasters. A 1996 Animal Welfare Act, however, does not state anything about giving food to pets.
Though Okon’s program seems one-of-a-kind, it’s actually one of a few programs in the country that give food to animals in need. Shelters and rescue leagues in the U.S., like the Washington Animal Rescue League, have provided pet food banks for years, in addition to giving discounted pet care.
“One of our missions is to provide income-qualified families with discounted pet care, vaccinations, vaccine clinics, neutered clinics and vet care,” Washington Animal Rescue League spokesman Matt Williams said. “We have a new medical center on site. We also have a food bank run entirely on donations.”
To be approved for the program, families must provide proof that they are currently receiving government assistance.