Planning for Your Pets

As a result of the tragedy of losing a beloved family member or friend, a next of kin may be left with the responsibility of finding an appropriate home for a deceased or incapacitated loved one’s pet. Much like children and other assets, care should be taken to leave directives for pets to ensure future caregivers have all the information and tools necessary to take over care for the pet with the least amount of trauma and disruption to the pet possible.

We know how important pets are in people’s lives and want to provide peace of mind to pet owners, knowing their pets are left in the care of a trusted person or entity, by providing a few options that can easily be added to a will or guardian agreement.

The following simple instructions will expedite your pet’s transition and make sure your wishes are heeded.

  • Ensure the ‘Pet Information for Future Caregivers’ form is filled out with as much detail as possible, as this will provide crucial information about your pet for a future caregiver and will ensure a smooth transition to the new home.

  • Discuss your plans for your pets with potential caregivers and/or animal shelters and revisit them annually to make sure your identified caregiver’s circumstances have not changed. Notify a shelter of your intention to leave your pet in their care.

  • Leave a copy of the ‘Pet Information for Future Caregivers’ form on your fridge or in another conspicuous place in your home and provide a copy to the person who has agreed to be the future caregiver and/or the shelter you have selected.

  • Include the ‘Pet Information for Future Caregivers’ form, along with any pertinent veterinary records, with your last will and testament or final directives. If you plan to leave your pet with a shelter, please leave instructions to take the ‘Pet Information for Future Caregivers’ form and medical records to the shelter along with your cat or dog.

For a tour of the shelter, assistance filling out forms, or if you have any other questions about planning for your pets, please contact

Anna Stout,RHHS Executive Director, at 970-434-7337 ext: 107, OR

Ashley DiGrado, Community Health Liaison, at 970-434-7337 ext: 103.