Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Should federal food stamps go toward pet food?
An Isola, Mississippi, dog owner has started a petition drive asking that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients be allowed to use food stamps to purchase food for their pets.
The federal anti-hunger program, known as SNAP, restricts purchases to bread, cereal, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. Prohibited purchases include alcohol, tobacco, household supplies and pet food.
“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,” stated the petition filed by Edward B. Johnston Jr. on the Care2 website. “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?”
As of Jan. 17, the petition had achieved just shy of its goal of accumulating 65,000 signatures.
Care2, which calls itself “the world’s largest social network for good,” acts as a petition facilitator. Johnston or his supporters are responsible for the next step: delivering the petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which manages SNAP.