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What to do with my beloved pet(s) if something bad happens?

It’s heartbreaking to imagine that your beloved pet could join thousands of homeless dogs and unwanted cats facing an uncertain future, if there’s no one to rehome them when you die. If you don’t want this to happen, here are below 3 only easy steps for you to protect your pet and it starts now. 

Step 1: Determine who will care for your animal friend (this step must be completed as soon as possible)

This is the first step to show care for your animal. You have to talk to your entourage and agree with them as to who will take care of your best furry friend(s). If you haven’t done it yet and you are reading my post, please do it now! By thinking ahead, you can ensure your pet receives proper care for the rest of her life. Do not leave it to chance!

If you don’t have a friend or family member that you can trust to take care of your pet, there are charities that specialise in pet care after an owner’s death. Please liaise with them to understand what is needed from your side. 

  1. Battersea’s Forever Loved Service: The team in Battersea will give dogs and cats veterinary care at the shelter, looking after them there until they find a safe and happy home.
  2. The RSPCA’s Home for Life Scheme: The RSPCA takes on exotic pets as well as dogs and cats. Pets are looked after in shelters or foster homes around the country until they can be properly rehomed.
  3. Dogs Trust: Dogs Trust offers a similar service for dogs. Pre-register to get a Canine Care Card for your wallet, and they will arrange care for your dog until a happy home can be found.

These are few but you might find more charities in your area that are happy to welcome your furry friend. Do your homework on them, same as you would if you were looking into a facility for a human family member. Each of these facilities requires a certain sum of money to guarantee your pet’s lifetime care after you’re gone. Spend money to have peace of mind. 

Step 2: Arrange for Care (This step should be completed as part of the creation of your will or directly via Kwaetus)

The surest and simplest way to provide care for your pet after you die is to leave your pet and some money through a provision in your will or living trust. If you do this, the person you name will become the owner of your pet and will receive outright any money you leave to him or her for your pet’s care. 

Something to keep in mind is that you don’t want to have too much money set aside for your cat. If you do, this increases the chances of the will being contested. I’ve already calculated how much money I spend on a yearly basis for Tamara, my cat and I multiplied it by her remaining life expectancy, plus added some extra for medical care as the pet ages. 

When you bring a cat into your home, you’re committing to care for that animal for their entire life. If that expands beyond your own life, it’s important to make sure they still get the level of care they deserve.

You will also find online that there are also instructions should you want to put your pet to sleep when you die but this is something I am not approving as I am sure there will always be someone ready to give love to your pet. I am certain that your executor will find a good home for the animal. 

Step 3: Make sure to leave instructions and wishes where they’ll be found (has your will been witnessed and validated yet? 

Once you have everything together, you need to make sure the instructions are left somewhere safe and easily accessible. As a piece of advice, I would recommend making sure to confirm step 1 as often as possible as it takes a bit of time to locate a will. I would confirm step 1 every 2 years to the person or organisation who will be taking care of your pet. This will ensure they act quickly after your death and your instructions can be carried out as soon as possible.

If you’ve already written a will and bequeathed your entire belongings to a loved one, or expressed a wish for someone to care for your pet when you die, they are not duty-bound by law to look after any pets you leave behind. They could be unaware and unprepared for the responsibility if you had not discussed your wishes, or feel unable to provide your pet with the care it needs.

It’s wise for animal-lovers to have a serious conversation with a family member or friend about looking after a much-loved pet, so you can ensure your wishes – and your companion’s welfare – are taken into account when you die.

If you live alone, then it is also sensible to consider leaving instructions that will make friends, neighbours or authorities aware of any pets you have and how to access them, should you suddenly be taken ill or die away from home.

There is nothing better on earth than knowing that you have thought about everything in preparation for the inevitable. I feel much happier and serene by the fact that my wishes and my instructions are done and communicated well in advance. There is no age for the above to be done. If your life changes, make sure your final arrangements are updated accordingly.

You can also directly complete these steps on Kwaetus, Start now!

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