Ramblings From The Ranch
Plan Ahead for Your Pet’s Sake
By Christina Bennett
We all think we will outlive our pets—and hopefully we will. Unfortunately, none of us can predict the future and even healthy young people can die suddenly.
What will happen to your pets if you cross that rainbow bridge ahead of them? Estate and financial planning can be daunting for us all. However, including your pets in those plans is essential for them and for your own peace of mind. That includes designating funds for their care.
Every month, The Ranch gets at least one request from a deceased person’s relatives or friends, wanting to drop off the person’s dogs. As you may know, The Ranch is usually full (with a waiting list!) and this is not always possible. Additionally, many of these pets are elderly themselves, coping with illnesses and used to being pampered. A shelter is a very hard environment for animals like that. The Ranch takes pride in housing homeless dogs in the most comfortable manner possible, but house dogs may have problems adapting. Furthermore, finding adopters for older dogs with chronic problems is not easy either.
Take time NOW to prevent heartbreak for your pets. Here are some ideas for you:
Speak to a trusted local friend and get their agreement to manage the re-homing of your pet. Be sure they have a key to your house.
Boarding your animals, buying their medicines, donating to a shelter for their care, or flying them to a foreign adopter is expensive. Most boarding facilities charge about 400 pesos a day. Shelters, like The Ranch, spend at least $30 U.S. a month on basic care. Flying a dog “up North” is roughly $500 U.S. (vaccines, import paperwork, crate, dog’s airfare). Hide the money in a safe place for your friend or make sure someone has access to your bank account. A few thousand US dollars would be a good amount to set aside.
Have your animals’ health records available—vaccinations, medication schedule, list of chronic conditions.
Your friend should be prepared to help find an adopter. Local rescue groups can help. Finding an adopter is easier with clear health records for the dog and funds to send the dog to its new home.
If you have an “up North” executor or inheritor, make sure that person knows the importance of caring for your animals and that financial help will be needed.
Your pet will be grieving for you when you pass away. Help make their transition easier by making a plan for their future. These animals can have a happy ending, as evidenced by a recent case where a deceased person’s friend was able to work with The Ranch to facilitate and fund a foreign adoption. That doggie is now safe and happy with his new family!
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com