Do you need ‘Pet Food Stamps’?

Megan O'Leary, Staff Writer

With the failing economy these days, many families have had to apply for welfare and government Food Stamps, but what if you have a pet?  A new non-profit organization called “Pet Food Stamps” has made it possible for you to feed your pet during these hard times.

Launched in February of this year, the founder Mark Okon started the company to help people with government assistance to feed their pets. Researchers say often the only option for poor pet owners is to abandon their family pet to the ASPCA or a high-kill shelter. “We feel that should not happen and provide free pet food to prevent that decision from happening,” said Okon, “Hundreds of thousands of pets a year are put to sleep or given up, simply because the owners can’t feed them.”

Okon, who has worked as a stockbroker, entrepreneur and business consultant, said he was inspired to start the non-profit when he was contacted by an old neighbor friend who had  fallen into hard times. Her parents had also just recently died and she was left with a large sum of bills. She was registered for welfare and was living on food stamps. Okon told FOX news, ” She told me she sometimes fed her cat before herself.”

The staff of maybe six or seven of this organization are getting bombarded day by day with over 160,000 application for families struggling to feed their pets. Okon explained the 6 month process,”  “Go to our website,, fill out the application, and within six to eight weeks you get a call back. Verify that you are receiving public assistance by getting an award letter of benefits from the state agency providing the benefits. Once all that is verified, you then get enrolled to get six months of free home delivery of pet food from Petflow.”

Pet Food Stamps primarily provides food assistance for dogs and cats, but occasionally supplies bird food as well. The website is also developing a pet and pet owner social network.