(WFLA/WKRG) – An online petition, that aims to include pet food to items covered by food stamps, has nearly met its goal of 90,000 signatures. As of Monday morning, more than 88,000 people signed the petition.
Since 1964, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has only applied to food meant for individuals or families.
The online petition from Care2 was created in hopes of helping families provide for everyone in the household, including their pets. Expanding food stamps, says the petition’s organizer, will keep thousands of animals out of shelters. The petition also acknowledges the argument that people shouldn’t keep pets if they can’t afford them, but also points out that an individual or family’s financial status can change at any time.
Once the petition reaches 90,000 signatures, it will be presented to the USDA. However, it could be a “ruff” go in actually changing SNAP benefits, because doing so requires congressional action.
The petition states:
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.
To read the whole petition or sign, visit the website by clicking here.