Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking, even though most people are prepared to outlive their pets.
But what if you don’t outlive them? Have you made a plan for your pets’ future care?
Pet owner deaths, especially when they’re sudden, leave many animals without homes. They often wind up in shelters, hoping for the best.
Even unexpected accidents or illnesses find people unable to care for their pets with no alternative in place.
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So how do you, as a responsible pet owner, make sure that your pets are taken care of?
The first step is to make sure several people in your life know that you have pets and can get access to them.
If you’re in an accident or need sudden hospitalization, you want someone to be able to get into your home and care for your pets short-term until a longer-term situation can be arranged.
If you have someone you list as an emergency contact, make sure they know who that pet caregiver is, if it’s not the same person.
You can also search online for a “pet emergency alert card” which you keep in your wallet. The card notifies emergency personnel that you have pets at home that need care and lists the contact information of your caregiver.
Next, make sure you have a plan in place in case of your death. Not only do you want to be sure that your pets will be cared for, but you don’t want your family or friends to have to make those decisions for you at what will already be a difficult and confusing time.
Don’t assume that your family, even family that you live with, will be able to care for your pets. Talk to them in advance.
Whatever plan you put in place, be ready to update it if the person’s life changes. Your sister may love your cats, but her future husband might be allergic.
If you want to provide funds for the care of your pets, consult with a lawyer.
Hopefully, by planning in advance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pets will be cared for and loved.
— Brown County Humane Society
For $16, give a new life in 2016.
These cats all came to the humane society because their owners died. Can you open your heart and home to help? They’re so full of love, they just need someone new to give it to. Meet them at bchumane.org.