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We love our pets more than anything, and hope we have a long, happy life together. However, sometimes horribly sad things happen and pets are left behind when their owner passes away.
It’s extremely important to have a plan in place to ensure your pets are well taken care of.
A recent social media share on Facebook tugged at my heartstrings. Two bonded pups were taken to the shelter after their owner passed away unexpectedly.
There was a call out for a loving home to take them in together so their family wasn’t completely torn apart during such a sad time.
It made me think of how devastating that must be for those poor dogs. Not only to lose their owner, and their home, but then they have the risk of not finding a home together.
Not gonna lie, I got a little teary-eyed thinking of Roxy & Rico being separated in a situation like that.
I started putting plans in place as a worst-case scenario that no one really wants to think about, but should prepare for just in case.
Read on to see how to ensure your pet is taken care of if you pass away.
Have a Pet Emergency Wallet Card With Contact Info
In the unfortunate event you’re in an accident, letting someone know your pets are home alone is vital to their well-being.
Keeping your information on you allows emergency personnel to reach out to your emergency contact.
Keeping the information simple and easily accessible (such as behind your driver’s licence) will help ensure the card gets seen and acted upon.
Set Up Reliable Caretakers
Having someone appointed to take care of your pets in an emergency is important. You should plan for short-term care and long-term. Ideally it would be the same person, but that’s not always possible.
In our case, my bestie’s place will be Roxy & Rico’s new home. She was the one who found Rico on the side of the road.
She often watched R&R when we were neighbors living in Puerto Rico and working rescue together.
They are comfortable and happy with her, so it would be the ideal place and she loves them as much as we do.
Since she lives a few thousand miles away, we need a short-term care plan as well. Coworkers, neighbors, or local friends come in handy for this, even if it’s just to take your pets somewhere safe like a boarding kennel.
Check in with your pet’s guardians periodically to make sure they’re still willing and able to help in case of emergency.
Build a Relationship with A Boarding Kennel
Having a good, reliable boarding kennel your dogs are comfortable with is wonderful. Our current one is amazing and will do everything possible to get our babies in for emergencies.
It definitely came in handy when Dan needed surgery with an overnight stay on relatively short notice. Our kennel was able to squeeze them in so I would have one less worry to deal with.
Having that relationship in place will allow your pet’s short-term caretakers to get them somewhere safe so they don’t manage to escape and run away while things are hectic and everyone is upset.
This is especially important if you don’t live near family and it may take a day or two for your pet’s caretaker to arrive.
Set Up A PetWill Trust
PetWill is a fantastic, affordable service that provides peace of mind for you and your pets. PetWill pet trust is a valid legal document accepted in all 50 states that ensures your wishes for your pet will be carried out.
The PetWill site is easily updated and gives you a central location to store all the details about your pet. It allows you to store emergency guardian contact information, a phone number to your pet’s veterinarian, and details about your dog’s care routine and schedule.
PetWill also sends a tag you can place on your dog’s collar with their name and your phone number.
In addition, it has a link shown on the back that directs to your pet’s Online Pet Profile with the most current photos and contact information. This is super helpful if they ever wander too far from home!
Create a Savings Account For Your Pet
Pets can be quite expensive, and while we’ve willingly committed to the financial obligations of being pet parents, it can be tough for those who unexpectedly take in a pet after such a loss.
We’ve set up a small savings account that has the person that will be caring for our dogs as the beneficiary. Adding to it periodically helps boost the savings.
It gives us peace of mind that she’ll be able to take care of our babies in the best way possible without having to worry about added financial stress from expensive food, vet visits, and medication.
What To Do With A Loved One’s Pet
If you’ve recently suffered a loss and you’re trying to figure out what to do with your loved one’s pet, I’m so sorry. If you are unable to care for their pet, I recommend speaking with their friends and other family members. They may know if plans are already in place for the pet, or be willing to take them in.
If you’re unable to find a loving home for their pets, I encourage you to reach out to a local rescue. They’ll be in the best position to find a good home.
Whatever you do, avoid dropping them off at the local pound because many are kill shelters.
Pets dropped off there are often not given more than a day or two before being euthanized.
Please don’t let this happen to your loved one’s furry family members.
A rescue will have more opportunities to get them into a foster home and then a forever home.