Pet Hospice is becoming a preferred choice of saying “goodbye” to a beloved companion animal. It is more humane for the animal because it focuses on the relief of the end-of-life suffering, and the pet’s comfort. It is infinitely more humane for the pet-owner, for whom this is such a painful and traumatic transition.
The opposite is also true: it is equally traumatic for a pet when the owner dies. Their life is changed forever also, and in many instances – may come to an abrupt end.
Not only does the pet suffer from losing a best friend, but also, the pet’s custody and care are left unplanned and uncertain. Often the owners’ residence has to be sold, and a beloved pet may end up in a stranger’s home, or at an animal shelter – only to be put down if not timely adopted out (which can be hard to do if the animal is older).
Your named Trustee or Executor may be great at managing money and property, but may not be the best care-custodian for your Pet; they may also not be the best person to select a care-custodian for your pet. Or, a family member may be eager to take in your pet, but may be financially unable to provide for the pet’s medical needs and nutrition/grooming/exercise needs, and decline to take in the animal for the lack of funds.
Pets provide so much love, emotional support, and companionship. For those with no other “human” companions, pets are the equivalent of a child or a best friend. And, it comes as no surprise that folks increasingly provide in their Trusts for the care and custody of companion animals, and allocate a stipend to be used for the companion animal’s care.
In doing so, it is wise to consider the pet’s age, medical condition, and health needs, including digestive issues, medicinal diet, and need for grooming and exercise. It is wise to observe who your pet is most comfortable around and approach this person with an inquiry if they would agree to take the pet in when you are gone.
For these reasons, considering the best person to name as your Pet’s Care Custodian, leaving an adequate pet-care allowance / stipend to be used for the care of your animal, and confirming with such Custodian that they are agreeable to step in and take your pet in their home, is the humane and responsible thing to do by our pets.
If you are a pet owner, your Trust or Will will be incomplete without provisions for the care of your companion animal(s) who depend on you.