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Taking Your Dogs to the Grave with You?
Protect your pets with a plan

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around Diane Mapes’ story on MSNBC.com about folks who request their dogs be euthanized and buried with them when they die. It sounds a little crazy, and I think in many cases it’s probably selfish and self-absorbed. But, as hard as it is to face, in the case of old or sick cats and dogs for whom the guardian can’t guarantee a home after they die, it may be the more humane option. As senior dog rescue veterans have told me, a shelter for these animals is often devastating and many times leads to euthanasia anyway.

The story serves as a reminder that we have an obligation to our animals that might extend beyond our lifespan. I have a home where both my dogs will be welcome in the unlikely event my husband and I should predecease them. And we’ve set aside money for their care. Someday, I hope all our remains will be together—but the  timetable is not mine to set.
Have you made plans for your pets?


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Carolyn | December 2 2010 |

My brother is designated as Maggie's caretaker in the event of our death. We have stipulated in our will an annual $ amount for her care. My brother has 2 dogs of his own that get along very well with Maggie and she is very familiar with them and their home. Should something unexpected happen to my brother, then she would go to her breed rescue where I am convinced the volunteers would find a loving home for her.

Submitted by Anonymous | December 2 2010 |

Plans are in place for mine. My oldest is 17 and would not fare well without me. The next is a very difficult dog that only a mother (me) could love, so he'll go too. The younger ones are adoptable, but will have their own money to hire a caretaker.

Submitted by Diana | December 2 2010 |

I have two dogs, one that I know would do well in another loving home and would have no trouble being adopted. The other, no. She is coming with me when I go. She would not thrive in another home.

Submitted by d m mitchell | December 2 2010 |

i find the older i get the more this subject is on my mind. i often see the sad faces of these older dogs who find themselves in a shelter for no reason other then their beloved master is now gone . this takes them from their home and security and happiness..it is terribly sad .. how horrible for them . not able to understand what has happened...so alone..lost misplaced ..what will happen to your dog if something happened to you.....have we all made plans for them as we do our children and family members...this should be an automatic thing to do as soon as we bring them home,,,,we love them and we want them to be happy and safe it is up to us to make it happen if we were gone..

Submitted by JulieD | December 7 2010 |

We have made plans for our dogs in our trust and have discussed it with each other and our families. When we were doing all of the paperwork (wills, etc) our attorney actually told us that she has clients that request in their wills that their pets be euthanized when they die. I really hate to think about predeceasing our pets but at least we have talked about.

Submitted by gail | December 10 2010 |

I currently own 3 dogs. Two are from local shelters. My bichon, Mattie and cockapoo, Annie could feasibly outlive me. My family has promised them all homes in the event of my passing. However, I agree, that if a dog is older or ill it is more humane to put them down in the event of the owners passing. Yes, my trust has money targeted for their care.

Submitted by Amy | December 17 2010 |

We have 4 dogs and should something happen to both my husband and myself we have arrangements for them to be cared for, all together, with a family member. Money is designated for them, plenty of it, to care for them for the rest of their lives so they will be able to live out their lives the way they are living with us (that means the best of food, treats, and medical care).

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