Just in time for February’s “Responsible Pet Owner Month,” I am excited to announce the launch of a new form to help pet lovers everywhere.
With the help of a local veterinarian, I developed a Pet Directive and produced accompanying videos.
The Pet Directive gives pet owners a place to document critical information and wishes regarding their pet. Specifically, it gives the owner space to indicate a new owner and provide medical and other contact information. It also addresses the “intangibles” about the pet that only the owner may know (such as personality traits, staying with a “pet sibling” and other daily routines). The form can be relied upon by family and friends in an emergency, including if the owner falls ill or passes away.
As an estate attorney, it is critical that we protect the people, things and animals that we love. I find that protecting my clients and their loved ones to be worthwhile and satisfying. I hope this resource helps you in this regard. Below you can also read three of the pet stories that inspired me to create this Pet Directive.
Stefanie West’s Pet Directive
To download the Pet Directive, or to view the videos, just click on the link above or the Pet Directive. It will take you to my website and the Pet Directive download and the video page.
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When Sparkles’ owner passed away, there was no plan for her, and there were no family members or friends who stepped up to the plate to take her in a time of need. Sparkles was found by her guardian angel, Valerie. Valerie is a well-known and avid dog lover. To know her is to know that she has compassion for animals.
Luckily, the real estate agent selling the deceased owners’ house knew Valerie and asked her to take Sparkles rather than sending Sparkles to a shelter. Valerie agreed. She gave Sparkles a loving forever home. Not every animal is as lucky as Sparkles, especially if the owners make no plan for the pet.
A written pet directive can prevent your animal from going to the shelter if something were to happen to you.
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As told by Stefanie West, the Creator of the Pet Directive
Bella was the apple of my father’s eye. She was the favorite dog and a very loyal companion. While I was working on this Pet Directive, Bella came down with pneumonia suddenly. We all thought she would recover. Unfortunately, the veterinarian could not save Bella and she died within a few days of the pneumonia diagnosis. It was quite a blow to my dad. We lost a family member. When I asked my dad if he would get another dog, he said that he didn’t think that he could. His reasoning was that he was getting older and didn’t really have a plan for a new dog if something were to happen to him.
This thoughtfulness and concern for the future of an animal exemplifies responsible pet ownership. This Pet Directive can be used to help an owner formulate a plan and provide the owner peace of mind that the pet’s future is more secure.
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Penny and Biggie’s Story
Biggie is a rescue from California’s Central Valley. He was picked up by animal control after living on the street for months. Biggie suffers from anxiety, but has found solace and companionship with his adopted sister, Penny. The two of them are inseparable. If something should happen to Biggie’s owner, it is of utmost importance that Penny and Biggie remain together. Biggie would have a very difficult time adjusting to both the loss of his owner and his sibling.
The Pet Directive provides a place for the owner to state whether sibling animals should remain together.