WASHINGTON – Tight budgets and increased food prices don’t just affect humans. Millions of pets are surrendered to shelters across the country each year because owners can’t afford to take care of them.
Stephanie Shain, chief operating officer for the Washington Humane Society, says having to give away pets is becoming a chronic problem.
“We always have that situation where we provide temporary shelter to animals and find them new homes because people can’t afford to keep them,” she explains.
To help pet owners cope with common struggles, such as the loss of a job, a new baby, a pay cut or a move, Marc Okon started Pet Food Stamps, a program that provides a home-delivered food supply for qualified pet owners.
Through Okon’s program, many pet owners on government assistance programs qualify for Pet Food Stamps, since they cannot use traditional food stamps to purchase dog or cat food.
Those interested in participating should be warned, though: an overwhelming response to the program has slowed the application process to about six weeks.