Pet parents consider their companions to be family, so what happens when they fall on hard times, gaining assistance to feed the household – but get no help for their pets?
This question was posed in a petition that has gone viral. When Edward B Johnston Jr. encountered a rough patch and enrolled in his local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), he learned that the food stamps did not include food for his beloved dog.
He wrote in the petition:
“Unfortunately, SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy pet food, leaving poor families with pets in a difficult position. I am one of those Americans. I have only been on SNAP benefits for a few months, but I have been unable to feed my little dog due to government regulations.
Some argue that people should not keep pets if they cannot afford them, but the fact is that an individual or family’s financial status can change at any time. Should someone be forced to give up a pet they’ve had for years just because they hit a financial rough patch? Or should they be able to utilize federal aid to continue feeding their pet?
Pets are also important for emotional support. Being poor is hard enough without being expected to give up your companion. For most people, pets are considered family, not property,” he concluded.
(To read the petition in its entirety — or sign it — click here.)
What do you think – should people on food stamps / assistance also get help paying for their pets’ food and care? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!