Responsible pet owners should consider what might happen to their pets in the event that they die. This situation can become especially stressful for the older generation with close companion pets. There are sensible steps you can take.

The issue of your pet’s welfare needs to be addressed in your will – clearly stating your wishes for the pet’s care and maintenance.

This can include provisions such as:

  • Arranging for a friend to look after your pet
  • A pre-arranged legacy program with an animal charity or trust

Many animal welfare groups, including both the NSW Animal Welfare League and the NSW RSPCA operate a “pet legacy program”. Under these programs a gift of money is made to the charity to either re-domicile your pet or place them in a purpose-run facility operated by the charities for pets whose primary carer is deceased or disabled.

Alternately, if no formal arrangements are made for the care of your pet, the decision is often left to professional executors who may choose to have the pet euthanised.

If you have not made a Will or your Will does not make clear provision for your pet, simply contact your local solicitor.