Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Happens To Your Pet If You Die?


What would you do with your beloved pet if something were to happen to you? Many pets are brought to the shelter after their owner has died. Would your family take your pet to the shelter? If you think they would keep it, you might be right, but you might also be surprised.

After the September 2001 attack, 800 animals were left homeless. Now is the time to plan for the welfare of your pet. You need to do three things:

1. identify the caregiver,
2. prepare written instructions,
3. and set up a fund.

 Choose a caregiver wisely. Talk to your vet, or ask local pet sitters and animal rescue groups, if your family or friends aren't able to take your pet. 
You can set up a pet trust. California is one of the 32 states that has pet trusts. You’ll also want to fund it. With this step, figure out how much you are spending each year on your pet, including vet visits, and multiply that times how many years your pet might live. If you can’t afford to do this step, please take the steps to ensure your pet goes to a person who can and will care for it and who will WANT it. Click here to learn more about setting up a pet trust.

If you leave money for the care of your pet, your trust will create a fiduciary responsibility for the appointed person to care for your pet. We had a woman call us to bring a cat to the shelter. That cat was left to her with money for its care, which she offered to give us. I doubt that was the intent of the cat’s former owner. How very sad.
The resources on 2nd Chance for Pets offer many useful forms, including a wallet card. Add your address, pet’s name and type of pet, and have an emergency contact number to this card and carry it with you. Post emergency contact information at home by your phone too. It should include an alternate phone number, the pets in your home, where to find leashes/carriers/foods/meds, the name of your vet and, most importantly, the name of an emergency caregiver.


So here’s a recap of the basics:
      1.       Identify the caregiver
      2.       Prepare written instructions
      3.       Set up a fund.

     Now let's get those plans in order!

Mustang Sally

Michelle McKenzie works at Sammie's Friends and is ruled by the many dogs and cats in her life.

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