Pre-Arranged Care for One’s Pet following One’s Death / Disability
To ensure the ongoing care of your companion animal(s) in the event that you die before your pet or become disabled and can no longer care for your pet.
What will happen to your pets if you die or become unable to care for them? In some families, we assume that a spouse, partner, other relative or close friend will care for the animal. We also may assume that they will honor our wishes for a particular form of disposition upon the animal’s death. But assuming won’t guarantee your pet will be cared for appropriately.
Pet Trusts are legal contracts which spell out the specific provisions of care for a pet upon the death or disability of the pet’s primary guardian (i.e., “owner”). A Pet Trust instructs the financial arrangements for that care, as well as for the conditions under which euthanasia may be provided, and the form of disposition of the pet’s body upon his/her death.
Other options to help ensure the appropriate care include: honorary trusts, provisions in a will, and traditional legal trusts.
We encourage people to ensure that there is a program in their area through which to arrange for the continued care of a pet, including the possibility of a pet’s interment in one’s family plot upon the pet’s death.
- American Veterinary Medical Association - report
- San Francisco SPCA – Sido Program
- North Shore Animal League – Safe Haven Surviving Pet Care
updated January 31, 2014