Petition calls for food stamps to fund pet food

MGN, file

A petition has been gaining traction online, calling for the U.S Department of Agriculture to extend food stamps to pets.

The petition has more than 100,000 signatures.

Supporters argue that a family's financial status can change at any moment, and pet owners should not have to give away pets because of financial hardships.

According to the USDA, under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, households cannot use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits to purchase pet food. Robbie Miller is an animal advocate with local nonprofit Marley's Mutts and said he believes making pet food eligible under SNAP benefits could reduce the number of animals in the shelters.

Michael Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers Association, said from a finical standpoint, it only makes sense if it does not cost taxpayers more money.

"I guess if they are not going to raise the benefit cost for things, it is just another allocation in a new American family. Which now includes pets," said Turnipseed.

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