One way, among many, that Americans stand out is in our relationship with animals. In the United States, we consider our domestic animals to be part of the family. Consequently, we own more dogs and cats than any other country. We also spend a small fortune each year on taking care of, and often spoiling, our non-human family members. If you have a pet in your family, Animal Safety and Prevention Month, held each October, is a great time to incorporate pet planning into your estate plan to ensure your pet is taken care of should anything happen to you.
October Is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month
October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month; a month dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals. National Animal Safety and Prevention Month was created by the PALS Foundation. PALS is dedicated to helping people and animals coexist in a way that benefits all of nature. They believe that humans must come to know the value of all animals, both domestic and wild, and the important role that they play in our ecosystem.
According to the organizers of the celebration, there are several ways you can participate in National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Some of them are as simple as being aware of the needs of your own household pets. For example, make sure they are micro-chipped so if they are ever lost, they can be easily found and returned; collars with identification tags are also just as important. Pet-proof your home against the possibility of your animals coming in contact with any dangerous poisons or toxins. Put together a disaster escape plan in case you ever need to evacuate your pets quickly from the home. There are plenty of things you can do to take that extra step in making sure your pets are protected in all circumstances.
You can also participate in Animal Safety and Prevention Month by volunteering at your local animal shelter. Foster a pet until it finds its new furrever home. There are plenty of animals that have not yet been adopted that would be very appreciative of your time and love. For those animal lovers who don’t have a lot of free time, donating money or much-needed supplies to your local animal shelters is always appreciated. This will help to ensure that pets waiting to be re-homed will get all the necessary care.
Plan a trip to the zoo. This is fun for people with or without children. Take the time to educate children about animal care while they’re still young. Education helps them gain a healthy appreciation for animals when they become adults.
Help promote National Animal Safety and Prevention Month simply by spreading the word. Get involved by contacting your local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations to see what they’re doing to help promote National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. If they currently have no plans to celebrate it, suggest spreading this wonderful message. Just one small effort could bring awareness to much larger groups of people who are readers, listeners, and viewers of these outlets.
Incorporating Pet Planning into Your Estate Plan
Each year, over half a million dogs and cats end up in shelters across the country following the death or incapacity of their human owner. The harsh reality is that when tragedy strikes in the form of death or serious illness, family members and friends often forget about the family dog or cat. Even worse, sometimes the family pet is viewed as too much of a burden and is intentionally abandoned. The only way to ensure that this doesn’t happen to your beloved pet is to plan ahead for his/her care and maintenance should you be unable to provide that care yourself one day. Incorporating a pet planning component into your comprehensive estate plan ensures that your pet is taken care of by someone of your choosing and in the manner to which your pet is accustomed if you are unable to provide that care at some point in the future.
Contact Illinois Pet Planning Lawyers
For additional information, please download our FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding pet planning in the State of Illinois, contact the experienced pet planning lawyers at Hedeker Law, Ltd. by calling (847) 913-5415 to schedule an appointment.
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