Jan 17, 2022

Austin: Plan for pet care in case you die first

Posted Jan 17, 2022 11:37 AM


Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — If you have a beloved pet, it's important to plan for its care, in case you die before your pet does.

"Sometimes, owners have set up with their directives, something very specific they want done with that pet," said Jonathan Austin, DVM, with Hutchinson Small Animal Hospital. "If they have communicated that to me and we have that noted in their medical record, then we follow their instructions, to do what they wanted. Some people are really good planners and they accommodate for everything."

If you lose someone suddenly and those plans aren't made, you can ask the vet for help.

"Sometimes, when it's a situation where there is not a family member that has agreed to take the pet, or none of the family want the pet, we have seen that, sadly, if it's a younger pet and a healthy pet, then we certainly try to assist them in finding a new opportunity, a new home for that pet," Austin said. "They can adjust. They can find a new family or a new person and do well."

The hope is always to find the animal another loving home, whether it's with family or not. In Kansas, an animal is considered property for the purpose of an estate plan, so what the owner puts in official documents is what goes in that case.