“Two Paws Up Tuesday”
Planning for your pet’s long-term needs.
Because pets usually have shorter lifespans than their human caregivers, you may have planned for the passing of your companion animals. But what if you are the one who becomes ill, incapacitated or dies first?
As a responsible pet owner, you provide your pet with food and water, shelter, veterinarian care, and LOVE. To ensure your beloved pet will continue to receive this care should something unexpected happen to you, it’s critical to plan ahead.
What can I do now to prepare for the unexpected?
In the confusion that accompanies a person’s unexpected illness, accident, or death, pets may be overlooked. In some cases, pets are discovered in the person’s home days after a tragedy.
To prevent this from happening to your pet, take these simple precautions:
- Find at least two responsible friends or relatives who agree to serve as temporary emergency caregivers in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Provide them with keys to your home; feeding and care instructions; the name of your vet; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet.
- Make sure your neighbors, friends, and relatives know how many pets you have and the names and contact numbers of the individuals who have agreed to serve as emergency caregivers. Emergency caregivers should also know how to contact each other.
- Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency contacts.
- Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency. Don’t use stickers; hard to remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, risk their lives trying to find a pet who is no longer in the house.
How can I ensure long-term permanent care for my pet if I become seriously ill or die?
The best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by also making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet.
It’s not enough that long ago a friend verbally promised to take in your animal or even that you’ve decided to leave money to a friend for that purpose. Work with an attorney or go on-line to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to care for them.
How do I choose a permanent caregiver?
First, decide whether you want all of your pets to go to one person, or whether different pets should go to different people. If possible, keep pets who have bonded with one another together.
When selecting caregivers, consider partners, adult children, parents, siblings, and friends who have met your pet and have successfully cared for pets themselves. Also name alternate caregivers in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to take your pet.
Be sure to discuss your expectations with potential caregivers so they understand the large responsibility of caring for your pet.
Remember: the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care – including veterinary treatment and euthanasia – so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet.
Stay in touch with designated caregivers and alternates. Over time, people’s circumstances and priorities change, and you want to make sure that the arrangements you have made continue to hold from the designated caregivers’ vantage points.
If all else fails, it is also possible to direct your executor or personal representative in your will to place the animal with another individual or family member.
You should also authorize your executor to expend funds from your estate for the temporary care of your pet as well as for the costs of looking for a new home and transporting the animal. The will should also grant broad discretion to your executor in making decisions about the animal and in expending estate funds on the animal’s behalf.
NOTE: The foregoing is intended to provide general information and to stimulate your thinking about providing for your pet in the event of your incapacity or death. It is not intended to provide legal advice and is definitely not a substitute for consulting a local attorney of your choosing who is familiar both with the laws of your state and with your personal circumstances and needs, and those of your pet.
Information courtesy of: The Humane Society Of The United States
Check out RUFF Academy by using the link above for a multitude of classes and programs that are currently being offered. We are always updating our programs to remain current and relevant to what’s going on in the dog world.
Thanks to all of our loyal clients and local veterinary office’s for all the referrals you send our way. We owe our continued success to all of you!
Training tip: provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Agility Trainer. The pause table is one of the harder obstacles because it requires a hyper dog to stop for 5 seconds. If your agility club does not require a sit or down on the table you can use this time to do a few simple tricks to get your dog hyped up again.
Answers to last weeks puzzle:
- Service Dog
- RUFF Academy
- Spot Can Sit!
- Great Dane
- Dog House
- Jack Pot