Millions of low-income American families depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more popularly known as food stamps, to keep them going since their incomes are often not enough to cover all the expenses required in a functioning household. However, for the average American family, a pet is considered an integral part of the household.
What happens then if you cannot afford to buy food for your pet? Given the choice between feeding one’s family versus feeding one’s pet, most people would still choose their family. This is why there has been an uptick in the number of animals that have been left in shelters. As heartbreaking as it may be to be separated from one’s pet, one cannot deny that hard choices must be made when the welfare of one’s family is at stake.
However, one man seeks to change all this. Edward Johnston of Mississipi finds himself in the same situation of hardly being able to afford to buy pet food for his dog. Aside from pet food, there are also other incidentals like visits to the veterinarian. These can definitely add up and put pressure on a low-income earner.
This is why Mr. Johnston has launched an online petition seeking the inclusion of pet foods under the list of items that can be obtained using food stamps. Admittedly, the petition is a long shot considering how much it has to go through to get the attention of the federal government, let alone convincing the officials in charge to sign off on it.
That being the case, the petition has quickly gained traction and as of February 10, 2018, there are already a little over 182,000 signatures, very close to the targeted goal of 190,000 signatures.
While it may be easy to say that if you cannot afford to buy pet food then you shouldn’t even own a pet in the first place, anyone who has had a pet before knows just how much of an emotional bond is created between human and animal. And for those people who are faced with the hardships of trying to make it through life with just a meager income, a pet can be a real lifesaver (sometimes literally) in terms of staving off depression, stress, and sadness.
What do you think about the petition? If you would like to sign the petition, you can go to the “Don’t Let Pets Starve — Include Pet Food In SNAP benefits” page.
Make sure to also share this page to get more support for this petition!