The rough economy takes a toll on everyone—including the furrier members of our families. But a nonprofit is aiming to ease the financial burden on pet owners by providing free pet food to people on food stamps, writes Al Lewis in the Wall Street Journal. The privately funded group, Pet Food Stamps, has been flooded with applications telling tales of health problems, outsourcing, and foreclosure. "It's cookie-cutter sadness," says company founder Marc Okon. A struggling friend "told me she sometimes fed her cat before herself."
Having spent years in finance, "I've been around enough shady businesses and surrounded by salesmen-types," Okon says, adding that it was time for something more altruistic. Lewis notes that while food stamps can be used to buy Coke, not so with dog or cat food. Because of that, Okon says, "millions of pets are surrendered to shelters each year and euthanized because their owners can't afford to feed them." Click for Lewis' full column.