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The company ‘Pet Food Stamps’ a new non-profit organization based in New York City is now offering assistance to thousands of pet owners who are facing low income throughout the country. The program has gained some criticism from various people, however, some stating that they believe that being able to afford pet food with assistance plans will not help in paying for other more necessary items such as shots, medical visits, neutering, and some of the other concerns that are viable for pet owners. There are many who are also becoming critical of the idea of social assistance being provided for animals, even though the assistance is not being provided from the money of taxpayers. However, Michael Barrett, the vice price of the grants management department at the ASPCA is now addressing many of these concerns.

In an email addressing many of the recent responses to ‘pet food stamps’ Barrett notes, “While some people might scoff at the idea of a pet food bank at first glance as something outlandish or simply low in priority in our society’s response to poverty and other economic challenges, it’s important to emphasize that most pets’ owners consider their pets to be part of the family, and pets are likely to be a significant source of emotional support and simple moments of joy that financially distressed families rely on during hard times.”

There are numerous programs which exist to help provide assistance towards struggling pet owners. Most of these programs are created to ensure that animals won’t end up on the streets or at shelters where they will be likely to be put to death. Since the grants department opened in 2008, the ASPCA has spent around $2 million to help provide veterinary care, vaccinations, food, and education assistance for pet owners who were struggling to manage on their own. The Pet Food Stamps program would be a new way for the ASPCA to work together and provide more options to pet owners who need some extra help. Although some cite concerns that such programs encourage low income families to have pets when they are not ‘affordable’, the ASPCA believes that it will ultimately ensure that the animals are not suffering.

Marc Okon, founder of the Pet Food Stamps organization, has said that the website is becoming so busy, it has already had moments where it was completely unavailable to the public due to bandwidth outages. He revealed that there are at least several thousand applications that are received on a daily basis, and many of the applications include multiple pets. Additionally, the number of pets that have been applied to the program so far is easily over 40,000. Income background checks are provided to make sure that applicants are actually in need and from low income or poverty levels. Generally, if people are already on federal food assistance or some other state program, they will probably be able to qualify for the pet food stamps program as well. Locating an office in their area that handles pet food stamps will clear up any confusion regarding eligibility.


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