Animal Rights

Don't Let Pets Starve: USDA Should Include Pet Food in SNAP Benefits

SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy pet food, leaving poor families with pets in a difficult position.

Photo Credit: panco971/Shutterstock

Each year, over 40 million low- or no-income people in the United States rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help purchase food for themselves and their families. It is the most wide-reaching program in the domestic hunger safety net, helping keep millions of families from starving.

But what about their pets? Unfortunately, SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy pet food, leaving poor families with pets in a difficult position. 

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.

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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? 

For most people, pets are considered family, not property. Being forced to give up a pet because you can't afford to feed it would be devastating. 

Sign the petition urging the USDA to expand SNAP benefits to include pet food.