I know, none of us like to think about that awful word including myself! However, we really need too on some level! For those of us who have pets, we must know that when its our time to leave this earth that someone will be there to take care of Fluffy when we are gone.
Arrangements: With no prior arrangements made, your pets who once lived in a wonderful, warm, caring and loving home may one day find themselves in a shelter. I know my dog would be extremely stressed out to find herself in a kennel environment. There are no guarantees in a shelter that your pet will find it’s forever home. Many are euthanized on a daily basis. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that to happen to your pet. Make arrangement with friends or family to check in with you on a regular basis, especially if you are alone. Your dog or cat could be left on their in the house with no food or water if something were to happen to you. Make sure to leave instructions out in plain sight or let your friends and family know what your wishes are for your pets. Make sure to have your wishes in writing! While your friends and family may say they love Fluffy, when it comes right down to it, they all have their own lives and may not be in a position to take Fluffy in should something happen to you!
Pets Letter of Wishes: This is similar to adding to your will. It is a written statement that lets the Probate Court know that exactly what you want and how you want your pet cared for! In your letter you spell out who you would like to care for your pets in the event of your death. What monetary funds you have to help and list all contact information. It is important to discuss this with the persons named in the letter. Having an alternate person is also a good idea in case the original person becomes incapacitated in some way and cannot fulfill our wishes. Also included in this letter should be an additional document that will give information about your pet. Who else knows your pet better than you? List the foods that they eat, what types of treats and toys are their favorites. What kind of habits do they have, their medical condition and records and also updated vet information. You can also let them know things such as their fears. Are they afraid of other animals, people, loud noises?
Pets Trust: Their is a trust that can be set up much like one that we would do for ourselves. A trustee would be appointed to take care of your pet in the event of your death. Contact your attorney for more information.
Identification card: A card in your wallet listing your address and pets name. In case of an accident, someone must know that your pet is home alone! Make sure to keep a list somewhere in the house including the information above about your pet, his likes, dislikes, food, etc.
If you have all the right steps in place, you will rest knowing that if anything should happen to you, your pet will be well cared for. You will also know that in this time of stress, that your pet will have some sense of comfort with his regular routine and familiar things around him.
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