Who Will Look After Your Pet?
Have you ever thought about what would happen to your pets if they outlived you? For many people our pets are a part of our family and like other family members their future interests deserve to be looked after.
Our information outlines some options to make sure they will be cared for and suggests some organisations who may be able to help.
Making sure your pets are cared for
Include them in your Will
Under English law your pets are defined as “Personal Chattels” - or personal possessions. As such you can include instructions in your Will to state how you would like them to be cared for. Your executors will then have the authority to make immediate arrangements for your pets after your death.
If you want to provide for your pet’s future care it is possible to put money in trust for this purpose. This will then be controlled by your chosen trustees but used specifically for the benefit of your pet.
Gift your pet to a friend or relative
It may be preferable to simply gift your pet to a friend or relative who would take them in and provide them with a new home. However, you should ensure that they are prepared to take on the responsibility of caring and looking after them beforehand.
Caring for a pet can be expensive, especially if they have been used to a life of luxury with you. You may like to include a clause in your Will giving an approximate sum of money to whoever is taking them on, on the condition that they look after your pet for the rest of your pet’s life.
Choose an organisation who can arrange for your pets care
If there isn’t anyone close to you who would be able to take your pet, or if your pet requires specialist care that they would be unable to give, many animal charities run rehoming schemes.
The RSPCA pledge to do all they can to find a new home if they care of your pets is handed over to them on your death.
The Cinnamon Trust will also provide long term or temporary care for pets whose owners have passed away or moved into accommodation that will not accept pets.
The Dogs Trust runs a Canine Care Card Scheme and the Cats Protection a Cat Gardian Scheme, both of which provide you with a card, similar to a donor card, which will alert emergency services to the fact that there is a pet which needs attention. If you are registered with them, once they are notified of your death or incapacity, they will arrange for your dog or cat to be taken into their nearest re-homing centre