In case you become physically unable to care for your pet? Or worse, pass away?
Life can be a series of unexpected surprises, some of them are hard and uncomfortable to swallow. But you chose your hairy companion, you love your hairy companion, and it would break your heart to know they went to an animal shelter because you failed to make a plan.
So now let's talk about the steps you can take:
A Friend or Relative
Are you going to leave them to a friend? Having an open conversation with your friends and family about your wishes is a good first step. But a verbal agreement doesn't guarantee they won't put them on Craigslist as soon as they have ownership.
Pet(s) can be overlooked in cases of their human companions passing, so designate a couple of friends or relatives as emergency caregivers. Give them keys to the house, instructions for the animals care, veterinarian names and numbers, and your wishes for permanent care.
Consult an Attorney
The best way to ensure permanent care of your pet is to consult a lawyer and decide which legal documents are best suited for your situation. Making formal arrangements in a will or trust is more concrete than a verbal agreement from your friend. Your designated emergency caregivers circumstances could have changed since you originally came to an agreement and they may no longer be able to care for your pet.
There are organizations that provide a "retirement home" for your pets to live out the rest of their days, for a fee or donation. This can be the best option for you and your pet if none of the above options suit you. Make sure to visit the sanctuary and get familiar with the organization.
Here at The Pet Cottage they will live out the rest of their days with us unless there is an interested adopter. Even if someone is interested in adopting, we require a 6 month minimum foster program. We want to make sure that it's a good fit for both the pet and human companion.
If we have a bad feeling about a foster interview or home tour, we have no problem denying the interested foster. Our promise is to the animals for the rest of their lives.
Learn more about our mission and re-homing.