Over 3 MILLION cats are surrendered to shelters every year in the United States. Over 25% of them will be euthanized. Your #1 New Year's Resolution this year should be to make a plan for your loving furkids! Read our suggestions on how to begin the process.
Our companion animals are an integral part of our lives, and they depend on us completely. So it is important to make careful preparations now for their short term and long term care. You just never know what might happen so making a plan for their care in case of an accident, hospitalization, disaster, or when you are too old or sick to care for them will keep them out of a shelter and may also save their life.
One of the most important aspects of estate planning is preparing for your animal companion's future.
You can also incorporate steps into your estate planning to ensure the long-term well-being of your animals and also make their transition to a life without you as stress-free as possible for them.
1.Identify one or more trusted people who can come into your home at a moment’s notice to care for and comfort your animals until their long-term care is arranged. It is important for the person to be familiar with your animals and vice versa.
2.Select long-term guardian(s) for your animals now. Choose someone who is trustworthy, capable, and willing to take complete responsibility for your animals. It is a good idea to name one or more backups, if possible.
3.Files on each of your animals should be maintained and kept in your home. This will help in an emergency and can be used to find the best new homes for your animals. The files should include, names to contact in an emergency; your animals’ names, years of birth, and genders; the name and location of your veterinarian; your animals’ diets, feeding schedules, personalities, likes, and dislikes; and a description of their daily routines. The files should be updated at least annually, and critical information should be carried in your wallet as well.
4.Consult with your attorney to complete your estate plans, including providing for the future of your animal companions (through a provision in your will or a “pet trust").
5.Put a “Please save our animals” sticker in a location that is visible from outside your house, such as a window or a door, in case of an emergency.
We all love our pets and they deserve your very best effort to keep them safe in case you can no longer care for them. Make a plan today. It will be your best New Year's Resolution!