Editorial: Make provisions for your pets

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13124432_10153666336148403_6240657853440786011_nWe love our dogs and cats and treat them like family. But, have we all made the necessary provisions to keep them safe in the event of an unforeseen tragedy? Do you know where your pet(s) will go if something happens to you?

Having worked with animal rescue organizations in the past, I have seen, firsthand, many situations that lead family pets down the path of homelessness. An elderly owner who falls and ends up in a nursing home, a tragic car accident that takes the life of an owner, an aging owner who has become unstable on his/her feet and can not risk being knocked over by their dog; the list goes on and on.

The situations are sad and unexpected and they leave the family pet in a precarious position.

Being responsible for our pets goes beyond providing necessary vet care, comfortable beds and high quality food. Looking ahead to the unexpected is part of that responsibility. Owners can draw up a will that includes provisions for their pets. At the very least, an owner should talk to his/her family members (both immediate and extended) to see if there is someone who is both willing AND able to take on the responsibility of your pets in the event of a death or debilitating accident. Many times, there is an assumption that the family will care for the dog or cat if something happens to the owner, but more often than not, the family is not in the position to be able to take this added responsibility on.

Frantic pleas to local rescues are often the first course of action for the family members caught up in the emotional aftermath of an unexpected loss. If the family is lucky, there will be a rescue organization that has an opening for the dog. If luck is not on their side, the once loved pet(s) may end up in a shelter where his/her future is uncertain at best. I shudder to think of the number of beloved pets who end up in this tragic circumstance; alone, dejected, and confused.

Take a few moments to talk to your family and your friends and see what type of provisions you need to make for your pets. If you are lucky, your family will be both willing and able to take your pet into their home and continue loving them as you have. If family is not an option, consider talking to your animal loving friends to see if they might be willing to step up and help when/if an accident occurs.

It’s never easy to think of the “what ifs” that life can throw our way, but being prepared is the responsible, loving thing to do.

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“as published on Examiner.com

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  1. We have seen it too many times, the poor dog being dumped at a shelter because something has happened to the owner and the relatives either can’t or won’t be bothered. I could never abandon one of my relative’s pets and I would hope they would do the same for mine. I have told my family if they do I will come back to haunt them until they die!.


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