Pets Left Behind

Back in my days as an animal shelter manager few things saddened me more than a pet being dropped off at the shelter because of the death of an owner.

Some people don’t like to think about it, but it’s a reality. What happens to your pets if you are involved in an accident or worse?

What to do:

The best thing you can do now is make arrangements for an “in case of emergency”.
There are two scenarios.

First is a person who will help care for your pets if you become sick or for some reason cannot care for your pets.

The second is who will take your pets in the case of your death.

After you decide who you would like to share this responsibility, talk to them. Even though you may have friends or relatives that like your pets, caring for them and being responsible may be another matter.

Ways to prepare:

Leaving instructions in a will is mandatory but may not be enough.

Depending on where you live, you may have to seek further advice of an attorney. Leaving keys with this emergency person is a must in case they need to get in your house to get to your animals. I know areas of the world that when someone dies the police will “seal” your property and unless you have legal documentation that states this person can enter your property your emergency person cannot get to your animals. This may only take a day or two but imagine how confusing this can be for the animals. Not to mention if the animals are confined in the house.

Leave instructions. Here are some ideas of what would be needed:

Feeding schedules
Routines
Care instructions
Allergies or medications
Special needs
Locations and phone number of veterinarian

Another good idea is take your animals to your emergency person’s house. Visit several times or even let your pets spend a night or two. This would make the transition for not only the animals but also the emergency person much easier. If there are already animals in the home, make sure everyone gets along.

If your animal has certain behavioral issues, make sure everyone is aware of these issues and how to deal with them. Loosing an owner can be devastating to some pets and this will make the transition much easier.

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