If you have ever been in a financial situation where it was necessary to frequent the local Food Bank, you have noticed that there is very little, if any food for animal companions. The new Ottawa-based federal registered non-profit organization, International Communication for Animal Justice (ICAJ) has found a way to make sure that animal companions do not go hungry, or homeless, when their guardians are experiencing financial difficulties. Although ICAJ is based in Ottawa, Ontario, they are willing to organize a food stamp program anywhere across the country.
The system is set-up to help humans, but not animals. In fact, if you go through the ‘social system’ and need help, one of the first things they will suggest is to get rid of your furry family member, as you cannot afford to feed them. They are willing to help human children, but not those of the animal persuasion. As a result, the animals are often unwillingly surrendered to shelters because there is no help available, even for their most basic needs.
Some people will say that if you cannot afford an animal companion then you should not have one. What they do not consider before they say this, is that many of these people once held decent jobs, but for whatever reason, life took a turn for the worst. This can be a result of loss of employment, illness, fire, accidents, and many other twists of fate. When they adopted their furry loved one, they had no idea at the time that they would ever be in this kind of situation.
There are also other people who are living from day to day on very low wages. Should they be deprived of sharing their home with a furry loved one, especially when so many animals are being euthanized because of overcrowding in shelters? These people share what little they have with their animal companions, but sometimes life can be cruel, and they suddenly lose everything. The last thing they need to be separated from their furry family member, on top of all their other hardships.
We do not make parents suffering financial difficulties choose between feeding their children, or handing them over to the system. So why should families, or individuals who have bonded with an animal have to make the choice between feeding their loved one and giving them away, especially when there are so many homeless animals in the world already.
That is where ICAJ comes in. This organization is not affiliated with the government, and runs completely on donations, providing free pet food to families and individuals who can prove they are Canadian residents, and are already receiving government funded social assistance (welfare), or are seniors, or war veterans living on a very low income.
The goal of ICAJ is as ambitious as it is simple: to help families who might otherwise have to surrender their animal companion to a shelter, and prevent those who cannot be re-homed from being euthanized.
ICAJ explains how it works:
"Once the people who need help have put in their request, and have been verified, they will receive coupons that can be traded in for free food at a local pet food store. ICAJ will purchase the food, and all the individuals have to do is go and pick it up. Depending on the circumstances, people may also be eligible to receive food for multiple animals, depending on their situation. Even animals with special dietary needs can be accommodated. Although the program predominately covers cats and dogs, there will be funding put aside for other animals as well."
If you would like to see more animals kept out of the shelters, and safe from the risk of having their lives cut short on death row, then please open your hearts and help to make this venture possible, by visiting ICAJ’s website and making a donation. Here is the link: www.internationalcommunicationforanimaljustice.org
Lets keep the animals in their homes where they are loved, by donating and sharing this article!