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The One Horrifying Question Most Dog Owners Have Never Asked Themselves


“Will Your Dog End Up At The Shelter if Something Happens to You?”

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Nobody wants to think about something happening to us where we would be unable to care for our pets. Even something as simple as losing your job could end up costing you your best friend.

If you are suddenly unable to care for your beloved pets, do you have a plan to make sure they are provided for? There are hundreds of dogs in shelters right now because their past owners could no longer care for them and did not have a plan to make sure they were taken care of.

If It’s Temporary…

A lot of people have come upon tough times these past ten years. Shelters and rescues are full of pets that used to have loving homes and were only given up because the owners could no longer afford to care for them due to a job loss. Many more were found abandoned at houses people lost; no home and no money means the pet gets left behind.

As things start to unravel, talk to friends and family about taking your pet temporarily, so you can get them back when you get on your feet. Nothing like adding injury to insult if you not only lost your job but now have to give up your best friend. If no one will take them, see if you can find an animal sanctuary that would be willing to care for them temporarily. There are also organizations such as IMOM, RedRover, and GiveForward that help people continue to care for their animals when they hit rock bottom.

As you get older and move on, don't feel like your pet has to stay at home. Many retirement places are now welcoming pets
As you get older and move on, don’t feel like your pet has to stay at home. Many retirement places are now welcoming pets

Getting Older

Entering retirement and finding oneself on a fixed income can sometimes mean you can no longer afford to feed the four-legged members of your family. Or, maybe you have to move into an assisted care facility or nursing home. A lot of pets end up in the shelters or rescues this way too.

Again, talk to family and friends. Make sure whoever is making arrangements for where you will be living understands the importance of your dog and looks for a pet-friendly retirement home, they do exist.

If you are having financial hardship, organizations like Meals on Wheels are now providing food for pets too, to help you keep your family members with you.

If It’s Permanent…

The part no one wants to talk about – death. We all have wills, is your dog part of yours? Make sure whoever you are entrusting your pet to knows it and is willing to care for them, otherwise they will just end up at the shelter once the will is read.

If no one in your family will take your pet, you have some other options. If you bought from a reputable breeder, they will usually be happy to take the dog back and either keep him or find him a new loving home.

There are people out there who have set up trusts to provide for their pet. For example, Trouble the dog has a $12 million trust fund from his late owner, Leona Helmsley. According to VPI Pet Insurance, the average amount put in a pet trust fund is $15,000-20,000. You can speak to your attorney about setting one up.

And Finally There’s This…

After the Rapture Pet Care.”  Yup, you read that right. Believe it or not, not only is it not a joke, it is actually a business venture founded by two friends – one a Christian, one an atheist. The organization is serious about taking care of the pets of Christians after the Rapture (second coming of Christ) happens. And, in case you are thinking this is something to scam people out of money – it’s a free service. The pet caretakers are atheist volunteers and it costs you nothing to sign up. So, in their words, “why not do it, just in case?”

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About the Author

Based in Tustin, Calif., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She also owns her own custom pet products company, A Fairytail House, where she makes personalized collars, leashes, beds, keepsake pillows and blankets, and anything else your imagine can think up. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs.

Written by Kristina Lotz
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