Our companion animals are an important part of our families, and we know how much they depend on us. That is why it is important for us to make preparations now for their future care in case something happens to us – in order to ensure their well-being and make their transition to a life without us as stress-free as possible.
- Identify one or more people who can come to your home at a moment’s notice to care for and console your animals until their long-term care is arranged. It is important for the person to be familiar with your animals and vice versa.
- Files on each of your companions should be kept in your home; these files will be helpful in an emergency and will also be helpful in finding new homes, if necessary. The files should include, at a minimum, names of people to contact in an emergency; your animals’ names, ages, and genders; the name and location of your veterinarian; your animals’ diets, feeding schedules, personalities, likes and dislikes; and a description of their current lifestyle. The files should be updated at least once a year, and critical information should be carried in your wallet as well.
- Select the long-term caretaker(s) for your animals – they should be people you trust. It is a good idea to name one or more backups, if possible.
- Consult your solicitor to complete your plans. You should consider providing for the future of your companion animals in your estate plans.
- Put an “animals in here” sticker somewhere in your house if you have animals who might hide from strangers.
You can download our free information sheet to guide you on how to best ensure the well-being of the companion animals you may leave behind once you are gone.