Pets may be the hidden victim of the sluggish economy. While humans can get food stamps to help them through a rough patch, but what about pets?
Enter Marc Okon, an entrepreneur who started a privately funded nonprofit called Pet Food Stamps that aims to help those already on government assistance to get free pet food:
The group has been swamped with more applications than his staff of a dozen people can readily process. Most applicants send letters detailing how they lost their jobs to outsourcing, their homes to foreclosure or their health to disease or accident.
"I just heard from a lady in North Carolina who has an autistic son whose only companion is a Jack Russell Terrier," he said. "It's cookie-cutter sadness. … Little details change but the gist of each story is the same."
Despite nominal improvements in the unemployment rate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture counts more than 47 million people in its food stamp program—nearly one out of every seven Americans.
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