A new pet food stamps program was announced yesterday, and the story quickly spread across the animal-loving web as people debated whether pets should be protected from an owner’s financial setbacks.
The Inquisitr reported upon pet food stamps yesterday and a movement in New York to bridge the gap between assistance for humans and help for their beloved pets — because benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, don’t extend to things like kibble or Alpo.
In our earlier pet food stamps post, we quoted the organization hoping to bring the program to New York as they explained:
“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 … As more families struggle with difficult choices like paying the rent or buying food, some have to choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table.”
Pet food stamps can seem defensible in some ways compared to human food stamps — as pets are unequivocally dependent on their masters for any and all sustenance. (We would point out here that, uh, so are children, but bootstraps.)
The Daily Caller quotes pet food stamps program founder Mark Okon, who explains that many owners struggle not only to feed themselves but also Fido and Patches:
“I received a letter from a woman who is on food stamps … She lost her job recently. She’s a single mother of a severely disabled young boy, and she said his only companion and his only mode of communication is with the family dog and they’re thinking about getting rid of the dog because they can’t afford to feed it. It’s people like that that this program is aimed to help.”
The site quips that pet food stamps are like “Scooby SNAPs.” Across the internet, it seems that reaction to pet food stamps is palpably warmer than it is for programs that feed America’s poor homo sapiens. One Stir commenter explained:
“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.”
Do you think pet food stamps are more morally sound than human SNAP benefits?