Preventing Homeless Animals: Have a Conversation about Your Wishes

On a daily basis, our shelter is contacted via email, Facebook messenger, and more to take in senior animals who have become homeless because their senior owners have unfortunately passed away. This leaves the animals without an owner.

How sad for all involved. The dog, the cat, the family grieving the loss of the loved one. And the list goes on.

What breaks my heart in these situations is that no arrangements were made to be sure the animals would be taken care of when this happens. Granted, unexpected and unfortunate things happen. No one is to blame.

No arrangements were made to be sure the animals would be taken care of, should a family member pass away.

How sad for that 12-year old poodle, that 10-year old cat, those 8-year old pair of labs, or whomever will be now be dropped off at the local kill shelter because no one can take them in.

Not one family member or friend has the space or time to care for the grieving pet. The living thing that has lost their human companion as well. How sad that the last living thing attached to the lost loved one is just discarded.

My intention is not to shame anyone. I’m sure I’m ruffling some feathers and I apologize. My intention is to bring the subject to light, and maybe a few of you will have the conversation. Talk to your elderly parents, aunts, and uncles. Or, have the conversation and discuss what your wishes are if you should pass. Put the animals in your will. Whatever it takes.

As the baby boomer population ages, the burden on animal rescues and county-run shelters will become greater. Let’s think about this now. Let’s start a plan now. In the end, more lives will be saved. After all, wouldn’t that be what your loved one would have wanted?