What Will Happen to My Pets When I Die or Am No Longer Able to Care for Them?

What Will Happen to My Pets When I Die or Am No Longer Able to Care for Them?

What Will Happen to My Pets When I Die or Am No Longer Able to Care for Them?

Posted December 26, 2022

Lake Chapala, largest expat community in the world and a pet lover’s paradise. Expats continue to arrive here in record numbers. What we find are abundant resources for our animals- dog walkers, dog schools, dog training, mountains and lakes for hikes and walks. We sometimes bring our pets with us and we also adopt pets here. The need for homes for dogs and cats is readily apparent as rescue organizations promote animals for adoption through many Facebook groups. Plus, we find animals on the street and bring them home. And animals find us. They show up at our gate or at our feet. We foster an animal until it finds its forever home; but, we bond, fall in love and become a “foster fail.”

With all of these animals bringing us joy and enriching our lives, we have an important and serious consideration to make. We are an older demographic and we may have animals who will outlive us. How do we insure their well being when we are gone? We have likely been present for the end of life of many a beloved pet. Now our pets are going to lose us. How can we plan for them in the best possible way to secure a good life for them as ours ebbs and finishes. To quote Loretta Downs who gives talks and workshops here on death and dying: “It’s your life story. Give it a good ending.” We contend that part of our good ending in our life story is planning well for our pets.

Tail End Planning for Pets emerged as a program here at Lakeside 2 1/2 years ago. Its primary mission is to raise awareness about the need to plan for our pets. Once we are aware that we need and want to create this plan, we can spring into action with assistance from this program as needed. Some examples of plans might be: a neighbor or friend loves you and your animal and agrees to be its forever home when you are gone. Or, there might be a friend or relative in the States who will step In. If no one is identified who will take your animals, another kind of plan might be available through a local dog rescue with interim boarding or foster care..

A good solid plan involves a statement about who will take the animal or who will help find a forever home. It involves having a local contact person who knows the plan and has a written copy. It has a written statement about how the plan will be funded and how funds are accessed. It is always a written plan, a copy included with your own end of life documents and a copy with the contact person.

Let’s not leave the fate of our beloved animals up to chance. They can bring joy and companionship to another person and, along with the gift of love they give, they can be cared for again with love and kind attention, with soft beds and squeaky toys, with good food, and invigorating walks.

Step up and put a plan in place, your own and one for your animal too!! The animals, your loved ones, and the community thank you.

As you will note from the website, we have expanded our story to say that planning for pets includes what happens in emergencies when we are no longer able to care for our pets as well as with our death.

For assistance creating your own animal plan, contact [email protected]

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