Planning for your pets’ care in the worst circumstance

Have you thought about it? What will become of your pet(s) once you are no longer here or are unable to care for them yourself? It has long been a nightmare of mine that due to an accident or other occurrence, I do not return home to my pets. Surely my pets would be confused, at best, or would feel totally abandoned, at worst. Do you have plans for your pets in the event of your untimely demise?

Of course, it may not be an accident that takes you away. It may be a foreseeable succumbing to a disease or simply the wearing out of your earthly body. Have you made plans for this eventuality?

I remember a shift I worked in dog adoptions at a local shelter several years ago when a pair of dogs had been brought in due to their owner’s death. They were completely at a loss for what was happening to them. When they were allowed to come out of their cages to stretch, they could not stop looking around each corner as if being quite sure that there owner would surely be there. This had a big impact on me. I wondered if the owner had ever even thought about the possibility? Did he or she assume that the remaining family would take in the dogs? Not all family wants to take in pets. Not all family cares about animals, nor do they know what to do with them if the job falls to them.

While the possibility of our animals ending up in the shelter once we are gone may be hard to think about, how many of us have reached out to make arrangements with family or friends–that we can trust–to take in our best friends at least temporarily, if not permanently, in this circumstance. If temporarily, will they make sure that the new home is a good and a safe one? Do they know not to advertise the animals on Craigslist? Do the animals have health issues with treatments that need to be maintained?

My solution for this fear was to make a reciprocal agreement with my sisters-in-law. Also lovers of animals, the agreed to take in my various pets should the worst happen. Of course, in kind, I promised to take in their pets should they end up needing a home. Please consider making such an arrangement yourself. Your pets’ lives may depend on it someday!