What Happens to Your Pets if You Die Before They Do?

While no one likes to think about their own passing, pet rescue Bideawee offers an innovative ‘legacy’ pet-care program you'll want to know about.

By Ernie Slone | Posted: April 28, 2014, 7 a.m. PST

Most people have thought about what would happen to their kids should they pass or become unable to care for them, but what about your pets?

You could set up a trust, or leave provisions in your will, but now Bideawee, a leading pet welfare and adoption organization in the New York City area, has an innovative option for pet owners across the country. With its Loving Legacy program, Bideawee pledges to care for dogs and cats when the owner predeceases them or is rendered incapacitated and can no longer look after them.

Bidawee

Bideawee works cooperatively with a network of employees, volunteers, supporters, and donors to find suitable, permanent foster homes and pledges to cover and oversee a lifetime of routine medical needs at its two veterinary hospitals, and when the time comes, memorials in one of its two pet cemeteries.

"Our goal for this program is to place the animals into hand-selected, permanent foster homes so that the foster family would have the benefit of having a pet, but without having to incur the expense of owning a pet,” says Nancy Taylor, Bideawee’s president and CEO. "We will make home visits in advance of placing an animal, periodic visits a couple of times a year to make sure everything looks good, that the animal is healthy and happy, and we assume lifetime medical care, and provide customized medical care for that animal consistent with the owner’s wishes.”

The program has been in the testing stages for about two years, and Bideawee has about 30 pets enrolled, Taylor says. "We have worked out the bugs and are ready to take it to a wider audience,” she adds. The initial deposit is about $2,500, and the final cost depends on a variety of factors, much like an insurance policy.

Founded in 1903, Bideawee provides shelter, care, and compassion to homeless animals, helping them to find their forever homes. With facilities in New York City and two on Long Island, one in Wantagh, and one in Westhampton, the organization currently has 96 employees and over 500 volunteers. To learn more, visit Bideawee.org

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