» News

A Funny Thing Happened to This Post On the Way to the Forum

Home - by - February 26, 2013 - 20:15 America/New_York - 54 Comments

I had this post in drafts. It’s about subsidizing pet owners who are forced to cut off their pet’s food supplies because of mounting debt. I quickly scanned the story, and there it was -

“We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon said. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”

I dismissed the movement out of hand as ridiculous and wrote my headline -

Cut off their food stamps until they’ve eaten the pets.

A little later on the phone rang. I did a very rare thing, I answered it. It was my friend, Shane Barbi. During the conversation she asked if I saw the story about the animal food stamps. It was clear that she supported it. I’m not a yes man, so I gave my point of view.

What happened in the next few minutes was astounding. My mind was opened. I’m not going to claim I’m a total convert on the topic, I agree that there is nothing at all wrong with this foundation as long as it’s with private money, but until I heard Shane’s arguments I dismissed the notion of this ever being subsidized with public money. She had a few interesting perspectives.

-animals are every bit as medicinal as the goofballs we subsidize and pump into people who are on disability.

- animals often save , or at the very least, positively change the lives of people with depression and PTSD.

- conservatives want to focus the issues of guns on the real culprit – mental illness. Animals can help people with mental illness.

She had many more sophisticated and salient points, and I don’t want to do a great disservice by paraphrasing and getting them wrong. The point is, a subject that seemed cut and dry (in my mind) wasn’t. There are a few things worth discussing…

Here is the article- (Shane saw the story on The Blaze.)

OpposingViews

As many people face difficult financial times, they cut back on food purchases and scrounge the newspaper for coupons.

When people start cutting back on food costs, one of the first things they’re likely to reduce spending on is their animal’s food.

One program is suggesting pet food stamps for people facing mounting financial problems to ensure their furry friends don’t suffer.

Pet Food Stamps is a donation-based program that aims to help pets of low-income families and those who already receive food stamps but could not afford to feed pets.

It is based in New York and is open to anyone in the United States. It has already had more than 45,000 pets sign up in the past two weeks.

Marc Okan, the program’s founder and director, said it works by having the pet owner’s income verified, then they will give the pet food each month from pet food retailer Pet Food Direct for six months.

“We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon said. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”

More

» 54 Comments

  1. MaryfromMarin

    February 26th, 2013

    I don’t have a problem with this. It appears to be based on voluntary, private donations, which is what USED to be the way things were done around here. People chose what they wished to support, and nobody was forced to contribute to something that they did not choose to support. The people in charge of those organizations had to make a good case for why you should donate to them. If it was not a worthy cause, or a needed one, the money dried up and that was that.

    I would donate to an organization like this, for some of the reasons Ms. Barbi listed, but also for the pure and simple reason that animals are living creatures—and they did nothing to cause the economic distress we find ourselves in these days. They are suffering innocents.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +11

     
  2. AbigailAdams

    February 26th, 2013

    They should change the name of the charity so that it doesn’t create out-of-hand dissent then. When I saw this story I thought, “What’s next?” People collecting food stamps for their pets will go the way of Pigford — everyone will own a phantom pet for which they need food stamps. And even if they were clearly marked or set aside for pet food, it would be easy enough to defraud the system (look at the current EBT card situation).

    Love the idea — hate the name. I’m certain they would be able to get along from the private donations rather than turn this over to an expensive and inefficient gov’t agency.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +11

     
  3. Dan Ryan Galt

    February 26th, 2013

    About 65% of Americans are considered overweight. I would much rather see pets get food stamps then I would people.

    When I worked for a large grocery chain in Hartford, Connecticut, I saw what the food stamp tribe bought, sugared fruit punch by the gallon, sugared cereals, cookies and other such crap.

    And oh yes, you can buy lobster with food stamps and yes, they did.

    Thumb up +5

     
  4. MaryfromMarin

    February 26th, 2013

    Good point, @Abigail. Names convey a lot.

    Thumb up +4

     
  5. Hawaiian

    February 26th, 2013

    I saw the guy interviewed on Fox and Friends today (well, late last night for me….)

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-friends/index.html#/v/2189807560001/food-stamps-for-pets/?playlist_id=86912

    He says right off the bat that they are not seeking gubmint help nor do they plan on accepting any in the future, if offered.

    Thumb up +4

     
  6. eternal cracker p

    February 26th, 2013

    Wait until BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) is uncovered with this. I didn’t want to say anything in the Sunday blog in regards to dogs that are by our servicemen. The need for them is desired, but the breed is selected by someone else.

    “Neutral, but not afraid of any of them.” “We’re not looking for trouble, but we’re ready for it.” –Popular phrases on war posters depicting the American Pit Bull Terrier.

    Pit Bulls are victims of BSL in too many places, including participation with the men and women in our military.

    Thumb up +3

     
  7. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    This article said -

    “We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon said. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”

    I’m still undecided on public assistance.
    Mostly because it would be very hard to ramp back entitlements for humans when animals are being subsidized.
    But I am willing to listen.

    Thumb up +4

     
  8. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    If the gubberment gets involved there will be regulations on breeds, you’re right. They will use the program to socially engineer animals, discriminate, control etc.
    My fist instinct is to always try and stay free of government.

    Thumb up +8

     
  9. Kenny Sullivan

    February 26th, 2013

    I am almost scared to add my opinion…but….

    It is great as a private venture. It will suck if the government gets involved, like everything else they touch. I can see people going out and ‘rescuing’ ‘pets’ to get the Scooby SNAPS money and then they sell the pet food or stamps for drugs, booze and guns. Next up, government funded pet abortion…..and unruly pets running wild in the streets.

    The beauty of my critters is that I raised them 100% on my own.

    Thumb up +9

     
  10. eternal cracker p

    February 26th, 2013

    I’m all for all dogs getting an unlimited buffet on the tax payers dime, shit it will only be a tenth of what Moose blows on a typical vacation. Hell, if we could just seal our borders for a few days a year, that would fund it all.

    Thumb up +3

     
  11. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    Is Hat getting soft? WTH?

    I have no problem with PRIVATE financing of such a project, and I donate to many rescue groups and help out wherever I can. It is my choice.

    The fact that there is crap that is “worse” or more useless that our government funds now is simply testimony to the fact that our government is too big and overspends. That is not an indication for MORE spending. Dont fall for that trap.

    Let people keep their own money and decide what to do with it. Period.

    Let the thumbs down begin…

    Thumb up +7

     
  12. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    Oh wait…NO thumbs down. LOL

    Thumb up +3

     
  13. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    February 26th, 2013

    If it ever gets into the gubmint’s hands, I’M going to need a cut of that money to stop me from punching everyone in that organization.
    You’ve been warned. lol
    Ask the illegals on foodstamps and “Disability” if they would be willing to give up some of that shit.

    Thumb up +4

     
  14. eternal cracker p

    February 26th, 2013

    I dunno, it would be strange getting assistance for the only member of the family who puts fresh squirrel on the table.

    Thumb up +3

     
  15. Kenny Sullivan

    February 26th, 2013

    On a positive note, at least the critters will appreciate it.

    Thumb up +3

     
  16. FreeMan & Sarah at the State of the SEIU

    February 26th, 2013

    Cut off their food stamps until they’ve eaten the pets.

    Or;

    until their pets have eaten them.

    That way it is a win win.

    Thumb up +2

     
  17. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    Soft??? Look at my original post title!!

    I still say it would take a lot for me to relent on accepting this as a government program, but the notion of animals for medicinal use was a compelling argument.
    I hadn’t thought of that and I am on board with that.
    If animals can live because we place them in homes for people on disability because of, perhaps, mental issues, I am all for it. Even if it means upping a disability benefit 25 bucks a month because you take in an animal.
    It could be an effective, and I mean a COST effective program, as well.

    Thumb up +2

     
  18. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    I’ve seen first hand how the love and the responsibility of a pet can benefit people with depression.

    Thumb up +5

     
  19. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    I am confused here. More government spending?

    Thumb up +1

     
  20. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    It would take a lot for you? You should not fall for this

    THis is the way Socialist work!

    They make you believe that society = government and that if government doesnt do it it will not get done.

    And you have seen how this helps with depression? So, if I am following your logic here, anything that helps with health care of an individual should be provided by the government.

    I dont understand your argument. Please explain.

    Thumb up +1

     
  21. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    Why are you discussing how to do socialist programs more efficiently?

    BTW, no offence to you Hat; you are still my favorite blogger. Just trying to get your argument.

    Thumb up 0

     
  22. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    February 26th, 2013

    Oh gaaah. I can already SEE the corruption ala Medicare/medicaid.

    So Fluffy is pregnant. She needs prenatal vitamins. Is that covered? She has 11 puppies and I can’t bear to give them away. Who comes and takes them from me? Do I get money to feed them? What if the pet gets an illness? Who covers that? If the pet dies, does another one get provided to take its place?

    Thumb up +4

     
  23. FreeMan & Sarah Intend to Defend

    February 26th, 2013

    Just before Bethlehem Steel closed the doors to the steel business in Lebanon Pa, and the rest of PA for that matter, The union was asking for a veterinary care benefit.

    Thumb up +3

     
  24. MaryfromMarin

    February 26th, 2013

    @RWF–

    This organization does NOT take government money, at least not at this time. I’m in favor of them as long as it stays voluntary.

    Thumb up +4

     
  25. Blacksmith8

    February 26th, 2013

    I will gladly join you in voting for animals getting food stamp benefits in order to avoid starvation …

    But first I think we should feed the hungry humans in this country don’t you?

    AND oh by the way, I am going to insist we stop murdering the little humans by the millions before you get a dollar or a moment of my time.

    AYFKM?

    Thumb up +3

     
  26. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    TOTAL agreement with that MFM. No question. As long as it stays voluntary. I would donate to it.

    Thumb up +4

     
  27. MaryfromMarin

    February 26th, 2013

    @RWF–

    p.s. see @Hawaiian’s post above, where the founder says they do not intend to accept government funding.

    Thumb up +3

     
  28. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    February 26th, 2013

    Yes, pets help old people with loneliness, snap kids with mental illnesses out of withdrawal, and they do provide assistance with vets, and some warn a patient before they get seizures. I’m not disputing anything about that.

    I just have a SERIOUS problem with the gummint (I don’t give a shit how pathetic your cause is) taking money WITHOUT ASKING ME FIRST. Period.
    People asking for charity through govmt(now or to be decided in the future) right now, have holes in their fucking heads! Are we as taxpayers not pissed off enough already from paying taxes out to losers like illegals and bridges to nowhere? ANY organization with its hand out now will get it bit off, and in the future that organization will have been tainted.

    ASK. ME. FIRST.

    Yes yes, I see they aren’t asking. NOW.
    Now.

    Thumb up +4

     
  29. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    Look, I have no beef with any organization taking DONATIONS from citizens who willingly give their extra monies to support their cause.

    I do have a problem with the government demanding those monies from me and compelling me at gunpoint to support their cause.

    Thumb up +1

     
  30. Cruisin Cat

    February 26th, 2013

    MJA brings up a valid point, given the rampant fraud in EB and othersocial programs.
    I love to help people, but where does Christian charity reach a cutoff point?
    When we’re all equal in misery?

    Thumb up +4

     
  31. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    @CC

    Christian charity is voluntary not COMPELLED by the government.

    Especially a government that is hostile to the Christian faith…

    Thumb up +3

     
  32. harbqll

    February 26th, 2013

    Hey, this sounds great! a private charity dedicated to helping financially-strapped people with pet expenses. Just what we need!

    But in 5 years, their board of directors will have been infiltrated and taken over by liberals. The money will start going to things other than paying the bills of out-of-work pet owners. PETA, and various other lefty front groups will start receiving checks. Then, lo and behold! We just aren’t getting enough in donations to cover all our good works anymore…time to apply for government funds.

    And then the leftys at whatever USDA office get an email from an old college buddy, who is now the president of the “pet food-stamp club”, and after a couple winks and nods, the federal gravy train is on the way!

    At this point, any pretense of actually following their orginal mandate is out the window. “Pet food stamps” will now only be given to politically-favored applicants…as in white, hetero christians need not apply. And actually being a pet owner is no longer a requirement.

    Same song and dance as always.

    Thumb up +5

     
  33. RWF

    February 26th, 2013

    Hahahah @ Harbqll-you nailed it!!!

    Thumb up +2

     
  34. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    Shane is specifically interested in placing returning veterans that have physical and mental disabilities with animals.
    http://petsforpatriots.org/

    There are many returning vets that cannot afford to take care of an animal, but would probably be open to the idea if it didn’t take away from their own limited benefits.
    If the program could be implemented in a revenue neutral way, (by replacing a crap program with this good program) I think it would be of great benefit.

    Progtards are always challenging the right to come up with ideas that are better than theirs.
    It isn’t tough to do.
    This is one.

    I’m not interesting in raising taxes or expanding government. But I’m open to replacing a shit program with a good one.

    Thumb up +3

     
  35. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    February 26th, 2013

    I know, fur, there’s just too many frikkin programs out there and no one wants to give up partially or end theirs for another. That’s part of the problem.

    Has anyone checked 0bamacare? It’s going to harass your pets, too. Veterinarians are already complaining about the new ‘rules’. They’ll be turned into to Peticaid programs. :-(

    Thumb up +4

     
  36. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    February 26th, 2013

    OK I’ve aggravated myself enough for today, so I’m going to bed.
    With one eye open.
    *pulls out pocket knife, scans room suspiciously* ;)

    Thumb up +3

     
  37. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    Well, then.
    Let’s just simply continue to dump mind-altering narcotics down everyone’s throats on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Thumb up 0

     
  38. Geoff C. The Saltine

    February 26th, 2013

    Mr. Hat. For vets that have been in combat yes. My fear is that it will become like obama phones after the government gets a hold of it. You can give pet food to any food bank, in fact they ask for it.

    Thumb up +2

     
  39. BigFurHat

    February 26th, 2013

    Nobody, specifically me, is talking about some Lyndon Johnson-sized Great Society of Animals.

    The entire point of this post was that I said, very quickly, let the people eat their pets.

    And then I heard the argument that the pets could be used as therapy in place of expensive psychotherapy and narcotics.

    We are paying for this now because it is built into the medicaid program that people with disabilities receive.

    Shane is an advocate for the therapeutic effects a pet can have.
    There are returning Vets who are disabled and are on very limited incomes.
    If a program like this could supplant a shit program, or ultimately replace the need to simply pump the depressed and shell-shocked with expensive meds for life, it could be a win-win.

    I mentioned an arbitrary 25 dollar a month increase in benefits that could be siphoned off some shit program, so the reluctant would be willing to take on a pet. It could ultimately supplant the need for drugs and mental therapy, and people could possibly have an improved quality of life, while a dog doesn’t get put to sleep.

    Suddenly I’m a closet progressive.

    I’m getting e-mails suggesting as much.

    Thumb up +3

     
  40. harbqll

    February 26th, 2013

    BFH – I don’t think you’re a closet progressive. I think you’re a good person with a good idea, and good intentions.

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen how these things work out. Liberals have an unerring talent for sniffing out free money, and subverting it to their own ends. O’Sullivan’s Law applies.

    Thumb up +4

     
  41. MaryfromMarin

    February 27th, 2013

    BFH—

    People are accusing you of being a closet progressive? Over this?

    Thumb up 0

     
  42. Anonymous

    February 27th, 2013

    BFH a Closet Prog! That is a the most ridiculous concept unworthy of contemplation.

    Anyways, charity in the hands of citizens is the most effective way to help others. The GOV. will take that great ideal and turn it into something unrecognizable.

    1) There is already a push for pets to have legal representation in a court of law.
    2) a lot of articles about the cost of pet care, and veterinarian cost are more prevalent.
    3) Greece, because of their economy, dogs run wild in the streets, and you know how our GOV. doesn’t like that.

    What does this all add up too? Perhaps wreck the economy overload the system, more control over the proletarians. Hard to say.

    If the GOV. wants to support a good cause then the representative can vote on giving money to Charitable organization on a case by case bases each fiscal year. Instead of creating a program that never ends no matter how corrupt or ineffective it becomes. NO just double down and add more to it, seems to be this caring and responsible GOV. answer to all our perceived woes.

    The majority of people are good and the schemers play upon the good & naive. Con men always have a good story usually with truth sprinkled on top. Not saying this Charity has an agenda but those that do will take advantage.

    What most people are saying here is don’t let the GOV. FUBAR a good cause, keep it between the citizens.

    From:
    theJadedBarrel

    Thumb up +2

     
  43. Czar of Defenestration

    February 27th, 2013

    No. No f*cking way. They are our “pets” for a reason. *We* take priority. If someone chooses to have a pet, let them assume the responsibility (financial burden) of doing so. What they do with their welfare money is one thing; that they should get additional welfare money for having a house pet is wholly another.

    Thumb up +2

     
  44. Shiite from Shinola

    February 27th, 2013

    Not taking sides on this, but if there is a disabled vet who needs a dog, you could probably leave your email address here and end up with a couple of dogs and a few bags of dog food too.
    If you got hurt fighting for America, you deserve at least that much, and a lot more.
    That asshole 0bama doesn’t want to help Americans, he’s out to destroy America and use the resulting chaos to his political advantage.

    Thumb up +5

     
  45. AbigailAdams

    February 27th, 2013

    Here’s my argument against using “gov’t” money. You may all remember the story of David Crockett on the subject of gov’t charity (Not Yours To Give):

    “We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I ever heard that the government was in arrears to him.”

    link to the rest: http://notyourstogive.com/

    Even if we diverted funds from some “crap” program (and most of them are crap), it’s still not the prerogative of congress to give away what isn’t constitutionally theirs to give. Even if it makes perfect, compassionate sense to support others’ pets, it would only legitimize and reinforce the role of gov’t as necessary nanny to unending need. This is where we are.

    Thumb up +2

     
  46. Czar of Defenestration

    February 27th, 2013

    “Do it for the Veterans” is as repulsive as
    “Do it for the children” in its
    emotionally usurious, ethically deceptive nature.

    You entitle veterans to it, *everyone* becomes entitled to it soon enough.

    Get it?

    Thumb up +1

     
  47. Czar of Defenestration

    February 27th, 2013

    (speaking of slippery slopes…)

    I’m entitled to free batteries for my vibrating blow-up doll!

    It’s good *therapy*, y’know….

    Thumb up +1

     
  48. Dan Ryan Galt

    February 27th, 2013

    Only if the doll is multi-racial and of a different gender than the person requesting the batteries.

    Thumb up 0

     
  49. Cruisin Cat

    February 27th, 2013

    “Nobody, specifically me, is talking about some Lyndon Johnson-sized Great Society of Animals.”

    I’m sure no one back in LBJ’s (spit) time could conceive how big the public assistance for minorities monster would one day become. So now you want to get another one rolling?
    Why don’t we have government-run homes for unwed dog and cat mothers too?
    Go down this road, where does it end?
    Oh, yeah, we’re almost at the end.

    Thumb up +1

     
  50. Frosteetoes

    February 27th, 2013

    Government involvement in pet care would be a disaster. If you want to see the future of this slippery slope click my link. The Obamacare for pets.

    Thumb up 0

     
  51. Shminky

    February 27th, 2013

    Fur, please stop banging your head against the desk! Some of us understand what you’re saying. It’s a great idea and doesn’t HAVE to turn into a gummint program or a trough for the more-equal-than-others.

    Using Pet Food Direct as the recipient of the donations and the source of the food is smart–they deliver in a wide area. Pet stores and vet clinics could also collect donations for local pet food and supply assistance–in fact, I’ve known some that do.

    And thanks, Geoff, for reminding us that food banks also need pet food and supplies. So do local charities–I just moved and had to downsize, so donated a slew of useful, nice things (no junk!) to a couple of my county’s private charities. Right now family charities need everything we can give them.

    Thumb up +2

     
  52. AbigailAdams

    February 27th, 2013

    Fur, a closet prog???!!! Whaaaa!

    Thumb up 0

     
  53. RANDO

    February 27th, 2013

    A few years ago, the family across the street moved out and ABANDONED their two cats.
    “Bye bye, kitties! Good luck!”

    What kind of monster could do that?

    Thumb up 0

     
  54. Alfonzo Leiding

    March 4th, 2013

    Good career about this article! My partner and i really like the way you offered your current details and how you made that fascinating and simple to understand. Thanks.

    Thumb up 0