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By John McDevitt

By John McDevitt


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hard economic times have many low-income Americans abandoning their pets because of the expense involved.

But now, a nonprofit organization is helping out by providing the equivalent of food stamps for pets.

Food stamps issued by the government prohibit their use for pet food, so to fill that gap Pet Food Stamps was created and opened in mid-February.

The nonprofit, based in New York, is funded by grants and private and corporate donations — not government money.   The program is open to all Americans who receive food stamps or other form of public assistance, or who rely solely on Social Security,

(Mark Okon.  Photo provided)

(Mark Okon. Photo provided)

“There is an incredible need for this program,” says Marc Okon (right), founder and director of Pet Food Stamps.  “There are close to 50 million people in this country who are on food stamps, with probably more than half having pets, so it’s something that is really needed considering that millions of pets are put to sleep each year simply because their owners can’t feed them.”

To donate or to apply for assistance go to petfoodstamps.org.

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