However much senior pet owners might love their pets, there’s no avoiding the fact that sometimes unexpected injuries, illnesses, and other conditions may leave them unable to manage pet care. Fortunately for elderly pet parents throughout Colorado, two organizations have mounted a pilot project to develop pet contingency plans for seniors.
Senior Housing Options is a non-profit that provides older adults located in Colorado with affordable housing, while LifePet.Care oversees pet care according to the stipulations in owners’ estate plans. The collaborative project between these two organizations aims to ensure that elderly people’s pets can go to trustworthy, caring homes in the event that their owners are unable to care for them temporarily or permanently.
According to a story on this project published on dvm360, pet owners must identify a trusted contact to whom care of their pet can be entrusted in case of an emergency. This contact is usually a close friend, family member, or neighbor who’s willing and able to care for the pet should the worst happen. The trustee must agree to the responsibility before the agreement is formalized.
Contingency measures are also in place for rare cases where a pet owner is unable to name a trustee, adds Robert Greene, founder of LifePet.Care. In such instances, the Animal Welfare Association of Colorado can help arrange to send the pet to a temporary foster home. The foster service helps guarantee peace of mind for seniors in crisis who can no longer care for their pets, whatever their specific circumstances are like.
Tips for Turning Your Pet Over to a Trustee
Entrusting the care of a cherished pet to another person is inevitably going to be a painful or difficult experience, but there are many ways to make the process less stressful on yourself, your dog, and your chosen caretaker. Once your trustee agrees to take in your pet in the event of an emergency, take time to write down all your instructions for their care. These can include tallying up the cost of medication, veterinary care, food, insurance, and other requirements. You can also name any preferred groomers, veterinarians, daycare providers, and other pet services you’d like your caretaker to use.
In addition to costs and providers, it’s equally important to make sure that your caretaker is familiar with your pet’s everyday needs. Inform your caretaker of your pet’s favorite foods, where they sleep, how often they should be groomed, and so on. Your caretaker should also be aware of your pet’s personal items such as custom dog beds, custom plush toys, and food and water bowls. This will allow them to set these up properly in your pet’s new home.
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