Although the government has offered food stamps to struggling Americans for decades, there haven't been any provisions for their four-legged family members.

Until now. Marc Okon has launched Pet Food Stamps, a New York-based nonprofit that will give qualifying pet owners throughout the U.S. (who must be receiving government assistance for themselves) funds to buy food for their animals from the website PetFoodDirect. In the program’s first two weeks, the site has already fielded more than 12,000 applications. The goal is preventing people from having to choose feeding themselves or their animals or having to surrender them to shelter where they most likely be euthanized.