Every week on Ocotillo Friends or other Facebook groups I read about people’s pets: Lost, found, new, adorable, celebrating birthdays or sadly the calls for prayers in the event of an illness. I was amazed that there are those in our community who even foster betta fish! We are a community of pet lovers.
And as a community of pet lovers, we need to make plans our pets big and small in the event of a tragedy for a caregiver. Being a responsible pet owner goes beyond spaying, neutering, vaccinating and exercise.
Appoint Temporary Caregivers
The US Humane Society recommends looking for two family members or friends who can step in and care for your pet. These folks should be treated like pet sitters in that they should all the necessary information to feed and care for your pets. “Provide them with keys to your home; feeding and care instructions; the name of your veterinarian; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet,” according to their article. “Because pets need care daily and will need immediate attention should you die or become incapacitated, the importance of making these informal arrangements for temporary care giving cannot be overemphasized.”
The Humane Society recommends the following ways to alert others that you have pets in case of emergencies:
- Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency pet caregivers.
- Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency. Don’t use stickers; hard-to-remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, risk their lives trying to find a pet no longer in the house.
- Affix to the inside of your front and back doors a removable notice listing emergency contact names and phone numbers.
Long Term Care Plans Are the Answer
The US Humane Society says that the best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet. Once you have spoken with a permanent caregiver, work with your estate-planning attorney to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to for the care.
The Humane Society provides more information on this topic that would be good to read before you work with us to make the specific arrangements. You can find and download the article HERE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/providing_for_pets_future_without_you.html