Book Review: When Your Pet Outlives You
It is a sad fact, particularly for older pet owners that you pet(s) may very well outlive you. And what will happen to your pet when you die is a subject that many people, who are quite conscientious in caring for their pets in other ways, often times completely over-look. According to David Congalton and Charlotte Alexander, co-authors of When Your Pet Outlives You this is a very big mistake. In many instances even your surviving spouse or other immediate family members may be unwilling or unable to care for your beloved animal once you have passed on
Part of me finds a bit troubling that there are those who will choose in some cases to spend thousand and thousands of dollars to insure their surviving pets will live well; while at the same time I am more than enough of an animal lover to know that if you don’t want your pet to be ‘put to sleep’ (euthanasia) you really do need to make some concrete plans, leave specific instructions and very likely a considerable sum of money.
There are an ever increasing number of pet retirement hones where pets whose owners have died can go to live out the remainder of their lives with dignity. There are some but not many no-kill shelters and animal sanctuaries that you may be able to make arrangements to leave your pet too. Also many schools of veterinary medicine will accept and care for your pet after you die, though this option generally involves leaving the school a sum of money ranging from $10,000 for a small cat or dog up to over $100,000 for a horse or large animal. The former options are generally less costly, though fees vary widely and considerable research should ideally be taken up long in advance of need. Another consideration is whether you would like your pet to be made available for adoption to a new family (often an option or requirement with sanctuaries and shelters, almost never an option with vet schools). If you have a pet or pets whom you care for When Your Pet Outlives You is Highly Recommended.