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NEPEANDOGS April 28th, 2010 10:55 AM

Pet "retirement homes"?
This is a question.

The thought occurred to me recently that, should I die, my pets would most likely end up in my local Humane Society shelter, which, unfortunately, is not a "no-kill" shelter. If this shelter should for some reason decide that they were not adoptable, the likely outcome would be that they would be euthanized after a few miserable weeks living in a crate.

I then started thinking about the pets I had seen in recent years being advertised for adoption by rescue organizations and foster homes, where the ad included something along the lines of "this dog's owner recently died", or "this cat's owner is ill and can no longer care for her". . .

I'm sure this happens on a regular basis, and it started me wondering whether anyone has started up a business or a charitable organization dedicated to providing permanent homes for pets whose owners have died or have become so ill that they can no longer care for their animals.

An organization to which the pet owner could bequeath a certain portion of their estate, for the long-term, PERMANENT care of their pet, including food, exercise, and medical care. The organization would then be tasked to find a new home for the animal.

It could be a charity that maintains a database of homes willing and able to adopt an orphaned animal (permanently), or even a business. It would be a great business for a retired person who still has their health and is willing to take on a pet. There could be a network of homes all across Canada - people who love animals and have filled out an application, provided references, perhaps had a home visit by someone from the charity or organization (similar to adopting a child).

The person making the bequest in their will would provide enough money for the animal's food and medical bills for the rest of their life, along with a certain amount to compensate the caregiver.

Does anyone know of such an organization? I know there are rescue groups out there, but many of them seem overloaded with strays and abandoned animals already, and stretched to their limits.

Is there an organization devoted specifically to orphaned pets? Has anyone heard of such a thing? I wouldn't want my pets to end up at my local shelter should anything ever happen to me.

If nothing exists right now, I think it would be a great idea to start such a business.

luckypenny April 28th, 2010 11:16 AM

Does anyone know of such an organization? [/QUOTE]

Yes, most rescues. You can set up an appointment with a director and get/give all the info you need (please thoroughly research the rescues though). Then an appointment with your notary to finalize your wishes.

Many rescues don't run out of a shelter facility and have foster homes that take in senior dogs. Personally, I've already been asked to care for a past foster if something unforeseen should happen to her owner.

With careful planning, you can ensure your pets will be well taken care of and loved.

LavenderRott April 28th, 2010 01:17 PM

I think it is an excellent idea. In this economy, with many rescues having to turn away dogs due to lack of space, I wouldn't want to count on a rescue group to take my dogs.

I have had extensive conversations with friends and family members and where my dogs go has already been determined. Just as I know which of my mother's pets I will need to make room for should something happen to her.

I think that everyone who has a pet (or two or ten) should talk to those around them and decide who you trust to take care of your pets should something happen to you. This needs to be done in a very honest and understanding way. I have had, in the past, 2 very lovely dogs with some very serious issues. While I was able to manage them, my family knew that if anything should happen to me, those dogs were to go to the vet and be put down. Both were dogs that had the potential to be very dangerous if mishandled and there was nobody in my life I trusted to that extent.

mummummum April 28th, 2010 01:24 PM

An excellent idea Nepeandogs. Maybe that's your niche market!

Tundra_Queen April 29th, 2010 03:32 PM

I remember finding a place like that in the states a few months back when I was searching for something on the net. I think it was in CA but I'm not sure. I just thought it was a great idea! The people left money to pay for their upkeep in their will and they lifed in the place for the remainder of their life.

Sorry but that is all I can remember about it.


Holistic February 12th, 2012 06:38 PM

South Shore, Nova Scotia
I provide just such a place here in Nova Scotia. A number of years ago I went through the same thought process and realized that there is a need for a retirement home for animals. I do it on a small scale now, with hopes of setting up a more impressive arrangement as finances permit.

TokyoParrot March 1st, 2012 10:10 PM

We have a long-term boarding facility for cats & dogs in Japan, too, out in Osaka.

Any animal that is left permanently to their care (death of owner, etc.) is also placed on their "looking for a home" page, and a fair number do get adopted out into a new family.

For each animal that dies in their care, they provide a Butsudan, the Buddhist shrine/altar that hold the cremated remains.
The one in the Wikipedia article is really gorgeous but the pets each get one walled-off section of a wooden rack, maybe about 30 cm by 30 cm for each.

Next to the butsudan they place offerings to the spirits of the animals-- maybe a favorite food and a small bowl of water-- and some photos of the deceased animal.

Personally, I really like the fact that they take care of the "after death" aspects. I want a Butsudan for my dogs.

This facility also hosts temporary stays (for people having short-term business transfers when they can't take the pet along, people who suddenly have to take care of a hospitalized family member, etc.) and regular (short-term) hotel boarding facilities.

As for the business aspect of it, I think the income from the short-term hotel boarding facility keeps the other aspects afloat.

The problem is that if you do regular pet hotel services, then it necessarily means you have to be near a center of population, which means there won't be a whole lot of run-around space for the dogs. The Osaka one has exactly this problem. They rely on volunteers to walk the dogs, but as you know, rarely are there enough volunteers.

An alternative would be to offer pick-up services in the main population center and then drive the animals back to the larger space in the countryside, but that has its downsides too.

pbpatti March 1st, 2012 11:27 PM

What a wonderful service to have. Pretty sure that there is nothing here in Edm or Alberta that offers this. hmmmm good business to get into to assist those that need a good retirement home..

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