What are your thoughts?
A new petition asking the federal government to include pet food in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is quickly gaining steam. The petition's creator Edward B. Johnson Jr. started it in hopes that he'll be able to keep his dog, despite falling on hard times.
And he's not alone. Over 40 million people currently rely on SNAP to provide food to their families. In Colorado, there's about 450,000. However, as it stands, SNAP does not allow for the purchase of pet food.
Those backing him point to soda and other junk food that could be bought with SNAP benefits, so why not pet food?
The petition also reminds readers that an individual's financial status can change at any time and that pets are important for companionship and emotional support. Many are considered part of the family.
"Should someone be forced to give up a pet they've had for years just because they hit a financial rough patch?" says Johnson.
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Critics of the petition are arguing that people should not keep pets if they're not financially stable. Yet supporters iterate that a pet is often a 10-15 year commitment and a lot can change in that time period.
Another woman wrote, "I volunteer in rescue and have seen people give up their beloved pet because they can't afford to feed them. This gentleman isn't asking for more money, he's asking to use his allotted amount he already receives to purchase pet food. I see no harm in this. It will also help keep pets out of the overburdened shelters."
The petition already has 106,518 supporters, and that number is expected to rise. If you'd like to join the movement, click here!
What are your thoughts, people? Do you think SNAP benefits should include pet food? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!