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Don't leave your pets behind without a plan for their future

Scotty's picture that made Clara fall in love
Scotty's picture that made Clara fall in love
Gerald Sienbarn

Do you say, “I love you,” before you end a phone conversation with someone you care about deeply? Do you ponder how precious life is, and how fragile it is? You can never know what life will bring, whether good or bad. If the latter comes, are you prepared?

Clara fell in love with Scotty the moment she saw his darling face on Petfinder. She hadn’t been looking for a puppy, because she was a senior woman and didn’t feel she had much time left. But Scotty melted her heart, and so she adopted him. The puppy was a challenge, but she enjoyed his company. He was all she had in the world, and she loved him very dearly.

Although she hadn’t expected to live much longer due to her old age, Clara wasn’t prepared for the battle with pneumonia she would soon face. Unfortunately, in just a matter of days due to her frail state, Clara passed away. She left behind her beloved little Scotty, with no backup plan for him in place.

One of the questions often asked from rescues when someone applies to adopt is, “If something happens to you, what will happen to your pets?” People make plans for their family members, their possessions; but for some reason the fate of their pets can be overlooked. Often, a pet left behind has nowhere to go but to animal control, where they are considered an owner surrender, and will therefore be euthanized first for space purposes.

Whether you are young or old, or healthy or sickly, it’s vital to have a plan in place for what will happen to your pets if something should happen to you. At any moment, life could slip away. Clara wasn’t expecting to die so soon from pneumonia; given the time, she would have made proper arrangements for Scotty to go to a good home upon her passing. But she didn’t have the time she thought she had. And Scotty, a beautiful young puppy, was sent to the shelter. He was due to be euthanized, and would have been, if a rescue hadn’t snatched him up just moments away from death. But a rescue won’t be able to save each one.

That is where you come in. As a pet owner, please make arrangements for your pets, in case anything should happen to you. They will already be dealing with tremendous grief over losing their best friend; don’t make them go to a strange place where they will face death.

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