What Will Happen to My Pets When I Die?

The Proficient Pup

So, this is not a pleasant topic. No one likes to think they won’t be able to experience some of life’s great events. But we also know it’s a truth that we won’t be around forever. Due to that inevitability, it is a good idea to plan for when we are not. Some of us may have a few plans for ourselves: maybe an idea of where we’d like to be buried, or where we’d like our ashes to be thrown. Maybe we have designated a couple of friends to take care of our children if we pass unexpectedly. It is equally important to find caregivers for your pets.

Finding a friend to promise to take care of your pets is not easy. If you have several animals you care for, you will likely need to find them several homes. Not everyone is able to care for your 3 dogs, 4 cats, 5 rabbits, 8 chickens, and 2 tortoises. Even finding a home for your one dog may prove challenging. Friends may already have as many animals as they can care for, or they may have pets that will not mesh well with yours. Some friends may simply not want to care for any animal.

Finding your Peace

When you face this challenge, do not give up.  The life of your pets depend on your ability to plan. If you are unable to find someone who can commit to taking care of your animals permanently, find one who will work to find them a permanent home. If you are like me, you fear someone will take your pets to a shelter. Here, they may die or be adopted out to an unhappy life. Find someone you trust who will work to place your dog, cat, or any other animal you may have into a loving home. Make sure they will do this regardless of the animal’s age or health. Your pet has needs and a good caregiver will meet those needs, whatever they may be.

My husband and I have a couple of separate caretakers for my animals should we die. While these friends are not able to take our pets themselves due to various reasons, I do trust that they will prevent them from entering a shelter. We want our animals to have an advocate after we die. We want someone to find them healthy and happy homes. While we cannot plan for every contingency, we can do our best to ensure that those who depend on us for survival will thrive after we pass. We can plan. And in planning for the future of our pets, we can feel less worried for them. So, although I dislike thinking about not being around for our animals, I can feel better about the lives they may have without us.

Lynn Webb, M.A., KPA CTP, CTMT


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