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Let Low Income Pet Owners Use Food Stamps for Pet Food

This petition had 1,096 supporters

Unemployment is a harsh reality for millions of Americans. Long-term unemployment causes many to lose their homes, sell off valued personal possessions and forces them to give up their beloved pets when they can no longer afford to care for them.

Our nation’s animal shelters and rescues are overflowing with cats and dogs abandoned or relinquished by owners who could no longer care for them. One of the primary reasons that people cannot afford to keep their pets is because they cannot afford to buy pet food.

The federal food stamp program, now known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) provides generous nutritional assistance to unemployed and low income families. A single person can receive up to $200/month. A couple can receive up to $367. A family with one child can receive up to $526/month and a family with two children can receive up to $668/month.

Without requiring any additional federal funds or private donations, the food stamp application could be altered to include the following two questions:

1) “Are you a pet owner?”

2) “Would you like to allocate a portion of your food stamps for pet food?”

5% 10% 20%

This would still reserve the majority of food stamp funds for their original purpose while providing a lifeline to low income pet owners, especially the unemployed. $40/month for a single person is enough to feed a large dog or several smaller pets.

Over $2 billion is spent annually by local governments to shelter and ultimately destroy 8-10 million adoptable dogs and cats (Source: Business Wire Features).     On average, it costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed and eventually kill a homeless animal - a cost that ultimately comes out of all our pockets (Source: Doris Day Animal League).

America is a nation of animal lovers and our laws should reflect that. This is an easy way to help millions of animals stay with families who love them and save local governments thousands of dollars without requiring the federal government to spend a penny.

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Joy Austin needs your help with “Congress: Let Low Income Pet Owners Use Food Stamps for Pet Food”. Join Joy and 1,095 supporters today.