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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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20 comments on “Don’t Let Animals Go Hungry, Include Pet Food in SNAP Benefits!”

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JOHN PASQUA
9 Days ago

SIGNED FOR THE GREAT ANIMALS.


Reply
Bob Mangarell
9 Days ago

If you can't afford to feed a pet then don't get a pet......if you need assistance for food then how will you pay vet bills, heart worm pills, tick repellent etc


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Bob Mangarell
14 Jan 2018

Then again people already on assistance go and have more kids hahahaha

David Andrew Hernandez
9 Days ago

love it but don't see it happening


Reply
Rusti Yankowsky
9 Days ago

This will never happen, they don't allow people to buy hot foods, think the powers that be will feed you pet? Not likely.


Reply
Jen Warner
10 Days ago

As liberal as I am, I do not think that everyone should pay for your pet's food. Having a pet isn't a right.


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Mary E Holtorf
10 Days ago

No. Why don’t I have a dog? Because I can’t afford one. But I work and I am paying for those snap benefits that I don’t qualify for. Do what I do, volunteer at your local animal shelter. But don’t get a dog, or any other pets for that matter. Call the animal shelter for assistance, but no snap.


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Marilyn Corrado
10 Days ago

I get it but if you cant fend for yourself then you should not have a pet. They need more then food


Reply
Carolyn Haack
14 Jan 2018

There are places that offer low cost/no cost vet services as well for people who are struggling. Is it better to have them surrender the animals to a shelter, where they may be put down, or prevent other animals from finding room in the shelter? I’d rather my tax dollars were going to feed people’s pets in times of need than a lot of other things.

Mary E Holtorf
14 Jan 2018

You can donate funds or volunteer to an organization that helps support pets in need. Probably a much more cost effective way to accomplish the goal of suppoting pets in need.

Sophia Jumatate
10 Days ago

If I'm tight on cash, my dog eats way better than I do.


Reply
Rachael Raines
10 Days ago

I didn't surrender my dog to a shelter when I was on food stamps. I never purchased junk foods, only real foods. BTW canned biscuits are junk food, dried pasta is junk food, I made all of that by hand, and I made dog food from scratch too! I haven't been on assistance in a long time. I still cook my own foods, even my dog's food.


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Athena Griffiths
10 Days ago

I am not sure about this. I personally feel, if you can't afford a pet (and they are very expensive to upkeep, with food, pet bills, flee and heart medicine), then they shouldn't get a pet. I am a pet lover, but I don't want the pet to go starving or go without medical care because of money.


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Rachael Raines
13 Jan 2018

Sometimes unexpected things happen and even though you thought you were in a stable point in your life, you end up on assistance. That was me. I kept my promise to my family about staying together. There were sacrifices but they were ones we all could live with. The pets stayed, they were family.

Christine Smart
14 Jan 2018

Exactly, stuff happens out with your control, but you just get on with it best you can. Hope for better days. Glad you got through it, Rachael Raine's.

Rachael Raines
14 Jan 2018

I got through it and learned what things were really important. Yes, there were a couple years my animals didn't get their shots. Most people don't know that rabies vaccines last several years and that it's city municipalities that get money from the licensing fees you pay if you live in a city, that's why they make you do it yearly. I live rural and my vet said it was fine. I now work for a grocery store and am appalled by what people eat, especially those on assistance. It boils down to a lack of education. We are on about the 3rd generation of people who have no clue how to cook anything that doesn't come out of a box with microwave instructions. I don't even use a microwave oven LOL

David Andrew Hernandez
14 Jan 2018

Athena, I'm with you about if you are financially strapped best not to get a pet. I've been there. However, what about when people with pets fall on hard times and have to go on assistance? What about people who need an animal for a medical condition or (seriously) just to have some companionship because there is no one else? Mainly speaking of elderly in the latter instance. Disabled too...

David Andrew Hernandez
14 Jan 2018

Rachael Raines It's not unusual to be able to get pet food at food banks. I'm a dietitian and can completely endorse what you have observed about the food people buy.

Jefferson County Pet Food Pantry
14 Jan 2018

Many pet owners sometimes lose their job, get injured and cannot work. The shelters/rescues are always packed to capacity. We have many seniors, veterans and disabled people on our program, why should they give up their pets when most times they are the only companion they have? You have to look at the big picture.



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