Marc Okon, program founder and executive director of Pet Food Stamps, helps pet owners in need
Have you ever tried to pet a hungry chihuahua? It aint nothing pretty.
Pet food stamps may sound like a laughing matter but Marc Okon, program founder and executive director, is taking his initiative to aid pet owners who are on food stamp assistance very seriously. According to Today.com, there are more than 46 million Americans on food stamp assistance.
A large percentage of families who are dealing with unemployment, foreclosures and other financial hardships own cats, dogs, and other pets. Unfortunately, many pet owners have to decide between feeding themselves, feeding their pet, or finding a mutual alternative, like tuna, that may eventually leave them both malnourished.
Pet Food Stamps will use their donation based funds to help more families keep bacon on the table and Beggin Strips in the dog bowl. The program is also planning to assist families with free or heavily discounted veterinary visits later this year.
Pet Food Stamps hopes to prevent families from taking their pets to shelters, that may eventually put the animals to sleep, by giving qualified families a six month supply of pet food through a monthly allowance towards PetFoodDirect.com, an online pet food store that is not affiliated with the program.
Many families are already submitting their applications on the Pet Food Stamp programs website, PetFoodStamps.org. The site recently crashed several times after receiving 50,000 viewers per minute on Monday, according to AnimalTracks.Today.com.
Similar services can also be found at many local pet food banks. But those services are temporary and for those in dire need. Pet Food Stamps may be the first to supply long term care for pets of low income families. The New York based program is available nationwide.