For millions of families in the U.S., dog and cat companions are their best friends. We happily provide them with all the toys they could ever want, provide yummy treats and do everything possible to ensure their well-being. Even still, people fall on hard times. Perhaps a person unexpectedly lost their job or maybe there was a death in the family.
To help support struggling families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps 40 million low or no income people in the U.S. pay for food, according to a Care2 petition. But here’s the problem: SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy pet food, causing many struggling families to have to make difficult decisions, such as surrendering the pet.
Just because someone has fallen on hard times, doesn’t mean they should have to give up their beloved pet. With 70 million stray animals living in the United States, only about six to eight million cats and dogs enter the nation’s 3,500 shelters every year. That evens out to about five homeless animals for every homeless person in the U.S. Considering the statistics, one of the best ways to help solve the pet overpopulation crisis is to first try to keep pets in their homes and out of the shelter system. And that means helping families feed their furry friends!
If you agree that the USDA should expand SNAP benefits to include pet food, please sign this important Care2 petition and share it with your friends and family.
Until SNAP benefits are expanding to include pet food, seeing what resources your local animal shelter or rescue group offers is the best place to start if you (or someone you know) is financially struggling. Many animal shelters understand and offer pet food assistance through local food pantries to help ease the burden. For more resources, check this out.
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