Dear Porky and Buddy,
This may be a depressing question but it’s an important one to me.
I am getting up there in years (the big 80) and while I have stopped adopting new pets, I still have a dog (Marnie) and two cats (Gracie and George) keeping me company.
They are all older too, but what if something should happen to me while they are still with me?
I am thinking about leaving some money set aside for their care.
Do you think that is a good idea? And how much should I leave?
This question is not nearly so depressing as the phone calls that the Humane Society receives from panicked relatives whose loved one has died or gone into a nursing home and left pets behind that no one wants.
So it is a really good thing that you are thinking about this.
In fact, we are so pleased that you have brought this up that we are going to devote two columns to it.
This week, we want to talk mostly about just the money aspects so that we can answer your question directly, and next week we will talk about all the other decisions you need to make and steps you need to take to be ready.
First of all, you should create a plan for the future care of your pets even if you do not have extra funds for their care.
There are steps you can take that will help even if you are not wealthy and we will talk about them next week.
There are all kinds of funding options available; for example, bank accounts, life insurance policies, annuity contracts, will/trust provisions, and pet protection agreements.
Some shelters accept donations for the care and rehoming of your pet if you are unable to, but check with that group first.
You should think about getting legal advice from an attorney with expertise in this specialized area.
In deciding the amount of money you want to set aside, think about your pets’ age, lifestyle and special needs.
Treats? Toys? Veterinary care?
But don’t set aside too much money for the care of your pets, as family members or others could challenge your arrangements. Think Leona Helmsley.
However much you decide to set aside for your pets’ care, you might want to think about having a third person control the money provided for your pet’s caregiver to make sure it is used correctly.
However you arrange for the control of the funds, you should probably not give your caregiver all funds at once.
What if that arrangement simply doesn’t work out and all the money is gone?
Yes, it’s a lot to think about, and there is even more that we will talk about next week.
In the meantime, you Sara, and all our readers give all your pets a big hug and a kiss and hope to live forever.
The Oswego County Humane Society has moved to a new location, 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego.
Watch for the announcement about our open house.
OCHS provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Now located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.