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Provide for Your Pet’s Care in an Emergency

One of the saddest things I see at the shelter is pets whose owners have passed away and left no provision for them in their wills. These pets are heartbroken and confused. I’m sure their owners would be devastated to know their beloved friend is pining in the animal shelter.


If you love your pet, it is well worth your time to be sure your companion will be cared for in the event of illness or death. It is a good idea to have plans for an emergency as well as arrangements for long-term or permanent  homes. A neighbor or nearby friend can serve for an emergency. Long term housing requires more formal and detailed planning. An attorney can structure your will to accommodate the long-term care of your pets. They can also be sure financial arrangements are made for the people kind enough to care for your animals.


Think about your friends and family carefully. Consider their lifestyle and ability to provide long-term care. Think about the age of your pet too. If your dog is a senior, a senior human might be a suitable caretaker. But a younger dog might require a different type of home. Your animal’s personality is important too. My dogs have never been around children. I would not select anyone with kids to be their caretakers.  All these things vital when planning your pets future.



I think it’s important to consider whether your pets can be separated to make finding a new home for them easier. Some dogs are very bonded to each other while others are happy as an only pet. I have heard of some owners who request euthanasia as a way to handle their pets future. If the animal is old and infirm, I can understand how this might be a kindness. But, for the majority of pets a new home is a much better choice.

My devoted companion, Jesse

My devoted companion, Jesse

Personally, I have an informal arrangement with a trainer friend of mine. After researching this article, I realize it would be wiser to formalize my plans. And it would be smart to make financial arrangements to be sure my pets guardians can afford the care my dogs might need. One thing I want to make sure of is my dogs don’t end up sad, frightened and alone in a shelter.

Cecelia Sumner, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA

Animal Behavior Manager

Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County

Best Behavior Dog Training




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