When a loved one passes, they may leave behind a beloved pet. In some situations, there may be friends or family members who can bring the pet into their home, but sometimes this is not an option. To help make the process as easy as possible, for both you and the pet, we have put together some guidance.
How to rehome a pet after a bereavement
Write down the pet’s history
When planning to rehome the pet of a passed loved one, it may be useful to compile information regarding the pet’s history. This will help them adjust to their new setting as smoothly as possible.
You may want to include:
- Their vet address/contact information
- Their microchip details
- Their diet/food of choice
- Any allergies or medication
- Their date of birth
- Species/breed specific care requirements
- Whether they have been neutered/spayed
Explain what kind of home the pet needs
All pets have different personalities, habits, and preferences. Some like to be the centre of attention in a small family, while others like being a member of a larger pack. Maybe the pet needs a huge enclosure, or maybe they are happy in a compact space. Considering these preferences will help ensure the dog’s or cat’s protection and happiness in their new home for life.
If you know the pet, you can write down what kind of character they have, to help find the best pet care after death of owner for them.
This list could include:
- How much exercise they have
- How long they can be left alone for
- Are they crate trained?
- Whether they like other animals
- If they like children
- What activities they like or dislike
How to plan for your pet
All pet owners want the best for their animals. You may want put plans in place in case you pass away, become terminally ill, or become unable to care for your pets.
Write your pet into your will.
Friends or families who already have pets may be a suitable place for dogs or cats, especially if the pet knows and feels comfortable with them. If you know someone, for example a friend or family member, who would like to care for your pet should you be unable to, you can mention this in your will.
As pets are classed as property, they cannot be left money should their owner die. However, in the event of your death, you may be able to leave money to whoever adopts your pet. You may also want to consider who will have power of attorney should you become incapacitated and decisions need to be made for your pet.
Please consult your solicitor regarding this when completing your will. If you would like more information about writing a will, please visit our blog section here.
Carry an ICE card
If you are hospitalised from an accident or health condition, doctors or other first responders may not know that there is a pet at home that needs to be cared for. Because of this, it can be a good idea to carry an ICE (In Case of Emergency) care card with you describing who your emergency contact is.
On the card, you can write what pets you have at home and if they will be alone. Those who find the card will be able to call your emergency contact and try to arrange care for your beloved pet.
What charities can help?
In the situation of a friend’s or family member’s death, and you are not able to take ownership of their pet, there are several charities and organisations who may be able to help.
Cinnamon Trust is a leading national charity that specialises in the pets of elderly or terminally ill people. The trust can help rehome pets or provide long term care when their owners pass away. They also provide a fostering service, giving pets a safe home when their owners spend extended periods of time in hospital.
RSPCA Home for life Scheme
RSPCA have over 190 years of experience protecting vulnerable animals, and currently rehome over 47,000 animals every year.
Their free Home for Life scheme can help you set up your will to ensure your pet is looked after should you pass away.
Battersea’s Forever Loved Service
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has been helping care for and rehome animals since 1860.
Though Battersea’s Forever Loved Service, you can register your pet and give Battersea permission to find your pet a new home if you were to pass away. By putting your pets into care scheme, you can have the peace of mind that your pet will be well looked after.
Blue Cross is a pet trust that has over 125 years of experience rehoming all kinds of pets including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, hamsters, and more. They also provide bereavement services if you lose a pet, which you can access online or on the phone.
Here to help
If you have recently lost a loved one, and are looking for help arranging a funeral, you can use our free search tool to find and compare funeral directors in your area. Visit our search tool here.