If you’re like many people, you may have done a double-take when you saw the title of this article. The newest form of public assistance has arrived on the horizon.
The Pet Food Stamps program was created to provide free pet food to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
Assistance is also available for individuals in financial need who might otherwise be forced to surrender their pets to animal shelters.
The decision to turn a beloved pet over to an animal shelter must be very difficult, especially knowing that the pet may be put to sleep because the shelter is at capacity.
Local and regional programs to assist low-income families with the cost of pets are in place in many locations, including through animal food banks.
The Rachael Horton Compassionate Care Fund assists those in financial need in Central Virginia with care for their pets.
The Rachael Horton Compassionate Care Fund was founded in memory of Rachael Horton, who died with her husband, Aaron in April 2011.
Rachael was an animal advocate who often helped pets at the a local veterinary clinic where she was employed.
Maybe your first thought is that those who can’t afford pets shouldn’t own them. Many people whose finances are tight choose not to own a pet, just as many couples living from paycheck to paycheck choose to postpone parenthood.
If your first thought is that you want to help, visit the Pet Food Stamps website. You will find links to donate money to the program.
Donations are not yet tax-deductible because the company’s non-profit status is pending. Once the status is approved, donations can be deducted for the previous 24 months.
If you want to apply for Pet Food Stamps, join the crowd. Thousands of applications are received each day, so it may take several weeks to receive a response.
Once your application is approved, Pet Food Direct will fill your pet food order, placed using a special code, based on the amount of assistance awarded.
The program, based in New York, was founded by Marc Okon to help those of limited means. Although currently funded by donations, the Pet Food Stamp program is hoping for federal help.
You don’t have to live in New York to be eligible. The program is open to all U.S. citizens who receive assistance through SNAP or are at or near the poverty level.
In addition to dogs and cats, the Pet Food Stamp program offers food for some other small animals and reptiles.
Recipients aren’t limited to assistance for one pet. Each person’s need is individually assessed. Those with pets on special diets will be pleased to know that many varieties of food are offered.
It’s hopeful that, by the end of 2013, free or deeply discounted veterinary care will also be available for qualified beneficiaries.
There are currently over 50 million Americans who receive assistance through SNAP. As families deal with a struggling economy, they often have to choose between paying for a roof over their heads or food to eat.
The Pet Food Stamp program hopes to offer an option for many families who are struggling to feed their pets. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the concept, there appear to be many in need who appreciate the program.