Protect Your Dog After You’re Gone With a Pets Trust

My neighbor Betty's passing has hit home with many people, especially single women in my neighborhood and online. Happily, her dogs are safe and sound...


My neighbor Betty’s passing has hit home with many people, especially single women in my neighborhood and online. Happily, her dogs are safe and sound and sporting stylin’ summer haircuts. To see a short video of them, go here.

There’s a very valuable teaching lesson in Betty’s death: We’ve all gotta go some time. All of us Dogsters, as responsibleanimal lovers,need to make provisions for our pets in the event that the inevitable separates us from them.

Betty’s dogs were lucky: Her upstairs neighbor kept her promise to look out for their welfare in the event that Betty could not. And so, Marshy and Happy are safe and awaiting a new loving home.

But not all dogs are as lucky as Betty’s dogs. Not all of us have a reliable neighbor who would do the same. So it’s up to each of us to network and build lasting relationships to protect our dogs’ interests in case we pre-decease them.

If you have family members that you’re on speaking terms with, by all means discuss your pets with them, and see if one of them will agree to executing your wishes for your pets after you are gone.

Maybe you have a dog walker. Try having a conversation with him or her to see if s/he would be open to helping out in the event of an emergency. Maybe you go to church regularly. Approach your pastor or one of your fellow parishioners about this matter.

If you haven’t got family or a dog walker, and if you’re not a churchgoer,you’ll have to start socializing.

The dog park is the logical placeto begin making new friends. Get out there and mingle with fellow dog lovers. Dogsters are earthy, practical people (for the most part) so you’re bound to find someone you can speak candidly with. Take a cue from your dog and make friends wherever you go. And once new friends are made, broach the topic of how you can all look outfor one another.

After all, isn’t that what friends are for?

Being a Dogster also means being self-sufficient to the fullest extent possible. You’ll need to outline your wishes for your pets and set them down on paper.Then you’ll need to make that paper legal.

Happily, there’s an online service that lets customers create official, legally-bindingdocuments quickly and easily, without hiring a lawyer. It’s called, and it offers a “Pets Trust” that set out in writing, for courts and executors, exactly who gets an animal in case the owner dies. All of the forms provided are legally binding, if filled out completely. does not provide legal advice or legal services, so if you have questions, you’re urged to consult an attorney in your state who specializes in wills, trusts, and estate planning.

Dogsters, what provisions have you made for your dogs? Please share thoughts and advice in the comments.

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