To our elderly—Provide for your pets!
Recently in a neighboring county a tragic situation played out. An elderly lady with several pets was admitted to a hospice. She left written instructions for a local animal rescue group to enter her home and care for her cats and dogs in her absence, and the rescue did just that, acting beyond the call of duty to treat animals who were flea infested, undernourished, lacking proper vaccinations and other medications, etc.
The lady passed intestate, and with her death the effectiveness of her written instructions ceased. The animals became part of the estate process, meaning an executor (personal representative) was appointed to oversee the process.
Sadly, in my view and the view of the rescue, some animals were sent to other rescues not equipped to deal with animals in their dire conditions, and some did not make it.
Brevity requires that I focus on two obvious lessons:
1. Be certain your elderly friends/relatives/family have a will and/or trust in which they explicitly set forth guidance regarding the care of their surviving animals; and
2. Towns and counties must have a plan in place to deal with what is becoming more common; namely, elderly people pass and there is no one to care for their animals.