Pet Parent Planning for the Future

Pet Parent Planning for Our Peace of Mind

You are always on my mind pet parent planning
You are always on my mind

We do not want to think about us outliving our pets, but that is something that could happen. Pet parent planning is part of your state planning to ensure our beloved pets will be taken care if something unexpected happens. In the United States, pet ownership is on the rise in all age segments.  A decade ago 34% of adults in the 70-and-over age group owned pets. In 2015 and 2016, when the leading edge of the Boomer generation began to turn 70, this percentage jumped to around 40%. The 2017 report is not out yet, but we predict the trend is on the rise. That is why pet parent planning is so important as many pets could outlive their owners and their future could be in danger.

I am Zak
I am Zak

Meet Zak he is one lucky guy. His pet mom was an elderly lady that loved him dearly, but one day she was not able to take care of him anymore. Her family was not interested in keeping him either, an unfortunate situation that could have turned into a gloomy future for Zak. Until Sue came to the rescue, she is my neighbor and a hospice nurse that takes care of the elderly. Zak’s elderly mom was Sue’s patient for several months and got to meet him while caring for her. But one day Zak’s mom had just a few hours to live. Sue was there with her until she closed her eyes forever. Not before offering to adopt Zak, giving this pet parent the peace of mind needed to let go.

There is no doubt Sue was a godsend for Zak and the elderly lady that passed. Now Zak has become part of a family with a younger teenager and three young adults that cherish him. This dog has completed Sue’s family. However, not all dogs are as lucky as Zak. Many end up in the pound or are put to sleep just because their pet parent died.

Pet parent planning saves lives
Pet parent planning saves lives; Zak knows that very well

If you have dogs or cats, no matter your age, please think of pet parent planning. It is never too late or too early to include them in your will, create a trust and start researching on rescue groups in your area that can help if the inevitable happens. You can start with Petfinder or the ASPCA. If you have a lawyer that is an excellent resource too. Pet parent planning ensures your pets will be in good hands.

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51 thoughts on “Pet Parent Planning for the Future”

  1. This is hard information, but so important to think about! As pet owners, I think most of us think about what it will be like to loose a pet, but not necessarily the other way around. I’m blessed to be amazing friends with a handful of other animal lovers, we’ve formed a ‘death pact” of sorts. If anything ever happens to one of us the others have agreed to care for whatever pets are left behind. It brings me a lot of peace of mind knowing that my pets will go to a good, loving home should anything ever happen to me.

    • I know this is hard but I didn’t realized it until I met Zak. Glad you already have a plan in place.

  2. What an awesome story! This is one of those scenarios that breaks my heart because I know that on my death bed I will be hoping SOMEONE will take care of my fur kids. It would be horrible to leave this world not knowing what would happen to them — I wish more kids would step up to take their parents pets since it is an extension of them…. 🙁

    • I totally agree with you but gladly Sue my neighbor stepped up to the plate and she became Zak’s mom. He is a happy camper we love him so much!

  3. The thought of my pets not having a caring and loving home if something were to happen to me would be a worry for sure! We think more about how we would feel if out pet’s went before us – but not often to we think and plan for the opposite.

    • Something to think about as we are all in the risk of the inevitable. Accidents or other dangers can happen. It is good to have always a plan for our pets in case we are not around.

  4. Fantastic post. I am so happy Zak was one of the lucky ones to have a home to go to. Layla is a PAWS client and they have a letter with all details who gets her, plus what she eats, etc and I have 2 friends there listed who both want her so I sleep quietly at nights here

    • That is nice that you have thought about everything not all pet parents are as ready as you are.

  5. Great post and an excellent reminder of the importance of planning. A friend of mine knew exactly who would take care of which dog should that ever happen, and I was always amazed by that. To be honest I have thought of it briefly, and I know if something were to happen to my husband and I at the same time, there would be no one to take care of Jack. I really should do something about that.

    • Thanks Hindy while difficult it is important to plan for the future thanks for stopping by =)

  6. This is definitely something that all pet parents need to think about. I’m glad that your neighbor could be there for Zak!

  7. People need to take legal advice on the care of their pets and, if necessary, negotiate with a rescue to ensure the pet’s safety. This is a whole blog post in itself.

    Legal representatives may not care about pets and often family members can be terrifyingly stupid or callous and the pet winds up dead in a kill shelter.

    People need to make absolutely sure of their pets safety.

    • Lawyers that do state planning do consider pets so I would not override that part of consulting with a family lawyer to make the necessary paperwork to make official what is the desire of the pet owner in case something happens, same as we do with money and belongings and even what we want and do not want when being treated at the hospital. Living wills cover all those aspects.

  8. As we’re getting older, we’re certainly cognizant of the potential that our dog(s) might outlive us. One strategy we’re following is adopting older dogs as we’re getting older ourselves.

    • That is right but still young or old pet owners need to plan. Age does not determine of something going wrong. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. I hope that our pets never find themselves in a situation such as this, but it’s better to be prepared than not at all. We have family who would take in our cats and dog if anything were to ever happen.

  10. I’ve read so many sad stories of pets being in limbo when their owner passes away. Sometimes the pet parent is in their 80s or even 90s, and I just can’t wrap my head around how someone that age didn’t plan for their pet’s future… none of us live forever! I couldn’t in good conscience go about my day knowing that if something happened to me, I did not have a plan for their care. It is just so important. They’re my family, I’d never leave it to chance.

    • Well many people do not plan. That is a fact many die without a will too that is why we thought it was important to share this story and make pet owners think. Young or old if we own peta we need to plan for them because we don’t know what the future will bring.

  11. It is so sad when people leave they pets. I can’t imagine that. I have adopt my cat from animal shelter and I’m so glad that I did. Zak is really lucky 😀

    • Well in this case Zak’s mom passed away she was very ill. Her family did not want to take care of the dog so at the end was a happy ending but sometimes is not like that.

  12. This is hard to think about but so important. Our pets are precious family members and we need to plan ahead so we can always leave them in good hands with the best care!

    • You bet no matter if we are young or old we have a responsibility to our pets and we need to make sure they will be ok if anything wrong happens to us. Thanks for stopping by =)

  13. First of all, if you can, please say thanks to Sue on my behalf for being so kind and compassionate to take Zak in. Coincidentally, my sister Sue, who already has 2 male cats, 2 horses and had recently had to bid-adieu to her rescue greyhound Gwennie, adopted a friend’s girl-dog Milly who was needing a home. Its just amazing to read such stories and truly thankful to you for sharing this. Humans need to get better with planning for their furry-kids, because they are raised with so much love, and without a right human-parent to adopt they can face the unspeakable. So so so glad for Zak!

    • Thanks for yoru comment I totally agree with Sue Sue and your sister deserve a big THANK YOU. Zak is doing great but we all need to think about planning if we have pets. Young or old we never know if something wrong coudl happen that could prevent for us to take care of our beloved furry kids.

  14. What a great post! This is so true and not often talked about. I remember when I was volunteering for an adoption organization seeing some stories about how some cats were abandoned when their owner died and the extended family wanted to dump them in the woods. So said. Planning is so important. Will share!

    • Indeed, Zak is not mine he was adopted by my neighbor. Sometimes I take care of him. He is sweet.

  15. This is something I really need to get on the ball with. I don’t have anything in writing for my cats, but I want to make sure they are taken care of if needed. Zak is a very lucky dog!

  16. This is really difficult to think about. It’s never easy to come to terms with last wishes but it is so important to include our pets in planning. We shouldn’t assume anything…

  17. I always told my mom that I would take care of her dogs when something happened to her and discouraged her from owning more than two dogs since that would put me over the legal limit of three. She said I didn’t have to take them that since they were purebreds they would get adopted from a shelter. I couldn’t let that happen to dogs who I knew their entire lives. One evening she had sudden cardiac arrest and died within minutes – no warning and completely unexpected. That’s how I inherited Buffy and Chipper. Since they knew me it was a smooth transition for them.

    • So sorry for your loss I am glad you kept Buffy and Chipper your mom must be very happy seeing them from heaven.

  18. This is so true. A s a pet sitter for 18 years, I required all my clients to name someone who would get their pet in case they never returned home. Most had never thought about this issue. Many did not want their own family members to have the pet and instead named friends as future caregivers.

    As a baby boomer myself, I made sure that the breeder would rehome my puppy in case anything happens to me because I know that she will place him in a home that understands and loves Eskies!

    • I hear you many pet owners do not have a person assigned for care in urgent circumstances. And in many cases prefer their close friends to take care of their pets and not their own family. I am glad you already have a plan,

  19. I’m glad that Sue was able to take Zak, what a relief it must have been for the elderly woman. I have a lot of family members who are willing to take care of my dogs if they outlive me.

  20. This is such a great post and super important! Zak’s story is very common. It’s not something people want to think about, or even realize they should think about but it’s very important. I had a great plan for my sisters to take my dogs but then they moved out of state into a place that doesn’t allow pets! It’s also a great idea to put your wishes in Writing, so nothing stands in the way of your beloved pet being cared for when you’re gone. Sharing!

    • Many thanks Cathy appreciate yoru nice comment difficult to write about this but it is true happens.

  21. As I get older, I think more and more about this topic. I’m in my early 60s now and the girls turn 7 this summer. I love kittens, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get a kitten again at my age. I need to get with an attorney and someone who I know would take care of my girls if something happened to me.

    • I am glad you are starting to think about this it’s important. Thanks for engaging with us today.

  22. A very important topic! Excellent post. My Huskies have my daughter and a “godmother” – one of my best friends – who many years ago when my five were young, said she would always take care of them if need be and keep them together. It is a topic families do need to talk about and put in place for peace of mind knowing one’s pet(s) will have a safe and secure future in case they can no longer be with them. I have heard stories that were sad, no like Zak’s. He was a lucky boy. I am so happy for him, as I am sure his hu-mom was before her passing, that he would be safe and well loved.

  23. We have a loose plan in place but this is something we need to give more thought to. Several people have offered and I want to make sure he goes to the right place.

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