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D2005-18

Dear Daisy Dog

I am getting on in years, and I’m concerned about the fate of my two Shelties if I should die suddenly. How can I be sure they will be cared for?

Daisy Responds

Sadly, too many pets are euthanized when their humans die, because no one planned for their ongoing care.

Your determination to prevent that is wise. I’m glad my mom feels the same way.

Your first step is to identify several potential caregivers, and make sure they are willing to take your dogs. Let them know if you’d like the dogs to remain together.

An alternative is a Sheltie rescue organization, pet retirement home or sanctuary.

Next, have your attorney incorporate your wishes into your will. Ask the lawyer whether your state recognizes pet trusts, through which you can leave money for your dogs’ care.

In the meantime, be sure you have someone lined up to care for your dogs in an emergency. This person should have a key to your home and know where you keep instructions for feeding and medications.

Include on the instruction sheet the names and phone numbers of your veterinarian and the people who have volunteered to be permanent caregivers. Carry a card in your wallet with this information as well.

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