What Happens To Your Pet If You Die?
Well this is a topic that either people do not want to think about, think will not happen, or never thought about. The reality is dieing before your pet happens more often than not and can be a problem for your pet. Please do not assume that your family will take your pet if you die first. If all my clients, who have willed me their dogs, die before the dogs, I am in serious trouble. I will have to get a kennel.
This past year three of my dog grooming clients have died. They lived alone and made no arrangements for their dogs. It so happened that neighbors knew of Curbside Clippers and called me. I contacted the three different families and only one out of the three wanted the dogs. I ended up placing the other two.
My all time favourite was both people died and the daughter was not a dog person. She left the 9 year old Bichon in the house for four days with a bag of food and a bowl of water. I showed up for the appointment, the neighbor came out and told me the people died and the first words out of my mouth was what about the dog? The daughter decided to go out of town to make some arrangements leaving the dog locked in the house. Naturally, I broke in, took the dog, and left a note. She came back into town, called and said, thanks, you can have him, I don’t really like dogs.
The first dogs I had as an adult, it dawned on me that if I died, there was nobody to take my kids. This did not set well with me so I went to my attorney and had him draw up a special section in my will for the animals. This was over 20 years ago and you an imagine the problem I had getting him to do this. If a family member does not want the pet, or if you do not have someone who does, they go to a shelter. Depending on the medical condition and age they are either adopted hopefully or put down. This is not a good thing for the pet. Currently, pets are legally considered “property”.
Please make sure you have some type of arrangement for your pets. If you have special instructions such as you want your animals not placed but put down, make sure that is very clear. Send a copy of your instructions to your vet so he has them and is aware of what your wishes are.
If you have a friend or family member who wants them, make sure you have all the instructions typed out for them. Habits such as were the animal’s sleeps, type of food, medical history and medical needs, vet’s name and number. If you have more than one pet, take a photo and put the name of the pet on it. Also have a backup plan as you do for your own will. You have an executor and a backup and in this case you need a backup if for some reason your first choice changes their mind or for some reason cannot take the pet/s.
As depressing as it was for me to type out the instructions about my kids, I did it, crying most of the way through it. I gave a copy in an 8 ½ x 11 envelopes to my vet, the attorney and a friend of mine who thankfully was willing to take the task on if I die.