Justin lived a privileged life. He was adored by Arlene for five years. He had never known unhappiness or grief. Then Arlene died. None of her four children would take care of her beloved Justin. He was abandoned and left to die in the pound in New Jersey. His weight dropped from 21 to 14 pounds. He was grieving for the person he loved and the life he lost. Justin was saved by HUA, and he is now dearly loved by Frances. Arlene never imagined that all of her children would refuse to take care of Justin. We know that she would be very sad that Justin suffered so much.
One of the greatest gifts of love that we can give our companion animals is to make certain that they are cared for if something should happen to us. Many people think that their family or their friends will care for their beloved friends. Unfortunately we can tell you story after story of dogs and cats who were abandoned after their people passed away. Consider that out of every litter of 7 puppies, 5 of them will have 3 different homes by the time they are 2 years old. Only 1 out of 7 will live in the same home for its entire life. An older dog will fare even more poorly. Your precious friend could end up being tossed from one home to another, confused and lost, only to end up in a pound where it will die sad and alone. Think carefully about the needs of your companion and make the decision in advance about who will care for them. Discuss it with the person you have chosen. Talk to them about the animal's needs and be sure they are willing to undertake the responsibility. Include the information about the caretaker in your will.
Tell your family about your decision and tell your vet. Make a notebook of all of the information about the animals wants, needs, likes and dislikes. Determine whether you need to provide in your will for the costs of caring for your friend.HUA has created a program called Legacy of Love where we will agree to care for companion animals who are left behind when their people pass on. The animals would stay at the shelter and be safe and loved for the rest of their lives. They would not be up for adoption so there would be no possibility that they would ever be abandoned. If you would like more information on this program, just send us an email to
and we will send you information.
Also, HUA has prepared a booklet that lists all of the information that anyone would need to care for your precious friend. You just fill in the blanks. The categories and detail are extensive to insure that you don't forget anything. (It's also amusing!) We also ask that you keep us updated on important information such as veterinary records and medical conditions. These books are e-mailed to people who enroll their animals in the Legacy of Love program so that we know everything we can about the animals.
Look into the eyes of your best friend and promise them that they will be cared for forever.
Give them a Legacy of Love.