The One Horrifying Question Most Dog Owners Have Never Asked Themselves

“Will Your Dog End Up At The Shelter if Something Happens to You?”

Please share this important article!

Nobody wants to think about something happening to us where we would be unable to care for our pets. Even something as simple as losing your job could end up costing you your best friend.

If you are suddenly unable to care for your beloved pets, do you have a plan to make sure they are provided for? There are hundreds of dogs in shelters right now because their past owners could no longer care for them and did not have a plan to make sure they were taken care of.

If It’s Temporary…

A lot of people have come upon tough times these past ten years. Shelters and rescues are full of pets that used to have loving homes and were only given up because the owners could no longer afford to care for them due to a job loss. Many more were found abandoned at houses people lost; no home and no money means the pet gets left behind.

As things start to unravel, talk to friends and family about taking your pet temporarily, so you can get them back when you get on your feet. Nothing like adding injury to insult if you not only lost your job but now have to give up your best friend. If no one will take them, see if you can find an animal sanctuary that would be willing to care for them temporarily. There are also organizations such as IMOM, RedRover, and GiveForward that help people continue to care for their animals when they hit rock bottom.

As you get older and move on, don't feel like your pet has to stay at home. Many retirement places are now welcoming pets

As you get older and move on, don’t feel like your pet has to stay at home. Many retirement places are now welcoming pets

Getting Older

Entering retirement and finding oneself on a fixed income can sometimes mean you can no longer afford to feed the four-legged members of your family. Or, maybe you have to move into an assisted care facility or nursing home. A lot of pets end up in the shelters or rescues this way too.


Again, talk to family and friends. Make sure whoever is making arrangements for where you will be living understands the importance of your dog and looks for a pet-friendly retirement home, they do exist.

If you are having financial hardship, organizations like Meals on Wheels are now providing food for pets too, to help you keep your family members with you.

If It’s Permanent…

The part no one wants to talk about – death. We all have wills, is your dog part of yours? Make sure whoever you are entrusting your pet to knows it and is willing to care for them, otherwise they will just end up at the shelter once the will is read.

If no one in your family will take your pet, you have some other options. If you bought from a reputable breeder, they will usually be happy to take the dog back and either keep him or find him a new loving home.

There are people out there who have set up trusts to provide for their pet. For example, Trouble the dog has a $12 million trust fund from his late owner, Leona Helmsley. According to VPI Pet Insurance, the average amount put in a pet trust fund is $15,000-20,000. You can speak to your attorney about setting one up.


And Finally There’s This…

After the Rapture Pet Care.”  Yup, you read that right. Believe it or not, not only is it not a joke, it is actually a business venture founded by two friends – one a Christian, one an atheist. The organization is serious about taking care of the pets of Christians after the Rapture (second coming of Christ) happens. And, in case you are thinking this is something to scam people out of money – it’s a free service. The pet caretakers are atheist volunteers and it costs you nothing to sign up. So, in their words, “why not do it, just in case?”

Did you like this?

About the Author

Based in Tustin, Calif., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She also owns her own custom pet products company, A Fairytail House, where she makes personalized collars, leashes, beds, keepsake pillows and blankets, and anything else your imagine can think up. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs.



  • Jacqueline Chiapa

    Good ideas. Your will is not read, that’s only for TV, so make sure someone knows where it is. I have included my pet care there. Also, everyone needs a will or trust if they have any assets. A will, if you don’t own a house or car, but you do have possessions, everyone does. Get it done now. (Can you tell I work in a law office?)

    • Bill Billio Olaschinez

      @ J.Chiapa….Thanks, good info !

    • Florida girl

      Approximate cost?

      • lisa

        Depends on you state.

    • kellyarolofson@gmail.com

      My animal family are all in my will. Wouldn’t have it any other way. They’ll go to my daughter’s home with extra money to pay for them.

  • Florida girl

    Jacqueline Chiapa would you give us an approximate cost for a will?

    • Penny M

      I have no idea what a will costs in my state or any others, only what I have used in the past. I used that online company “LegalZoom” to do mine a few years back. It does them for people who don’t have any major legal issues, big money, etc. The cost then was $79. It is completed online and then the final documents are mailed to you, all very legally appropriate looking, Then you have it notarized as I recall. I need to get mine out and look it over again! I believe that a person can make changes as they occur within ones’ normal life, too.

      • Florida girl

        Thanks anyhow Penny. I think I have that program on my desktop which I seldom use anymore. I didn’t know you had to send it to anyone though. I thought you could complete it, get it notarized, and record it at the courthouse. I sure don’t have to worry about a lot of money! Mostly who the executor is and what I want my kids and grandkids to have. Nothing fancy.

  • Stacee Severino

    A COUPLE OF THESE SITES THEY HAVE LISTED HERE ARE NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE :( I WOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT “AFTER THE RAPTURE PET CARE” BEING THAT THE CHRISTIAN PARTNER WILL BE GONE ONLY LEAVING THE ATHEIST PARTNER TO CARE FOR OUR PETS LOL WOULDN’T YOU BE AFRAID OF ANIMAL SACRIFICES FROM SOMEONE LIKE THAT? I MEAN ALL THE CHRISTIANS WILL BE GONE AND ONLY NON BELIEVERS WILL BE LEFT :) PLEASE DON’T BASH ME ALL YOU NON BELIEVERS I AM NOT SAYING YOU ALL ARE ANIMAL SACRIFICE PEOPLE I AM JUST TRYING TO MAKE LIGHT OF A SILLY POINT :)

    • ChihuahuaMama

      You’re out of your mind. I’m an atheist AND a loving mom to a Chihuahua and a Min-Pin. Atheists are merely normal, average people who believe in proven scientific facts and not fairy tales. I think you’ve been reading too many stories about devil-worshiping cults.

      • itsmereally.jl@gmail.com

        I agree, there are lots of religions out there. Would you worry about a Jewish person? I’ve tried on many religions due to things not relevant and have met kind, loving people in all of them. Wiccan? They believe in the balance of nature (like the American Natives), but are so often accused of witchcraft it’s not funny. I would think they would all be kind to animals! if they are your friends and they care about you and your animals I wouldn’t worry about a thing.

    • Heloise Smit

      I know how your brain works Stacee….and I like it! LOL!! Good one! Oh and ChihuahuaMama, she’s just joking! Lighten up!

    • Dee N Tay

      I totally agree with you Stacee…I really would NOT want an atheist taking care of my bup.. He’s my lil’ buddy, my sweet boy! If the rapture comes I would really like to take him with! I believe there will be animals/pets in Heaven! God gave them to us to love & care for, He created them so I believe in my heart He has them in Heaven! Thanks for your comment!

    • Alicia Counter

      Didn’t believers of God sacrifice the animals in the bible? I’m pretty sure they did…and I don’t mean to be rude but…if the rapture does ever happen, I see it as a good thing if most of the Chrisitians are this stupid.

  • FlossieNightingale

    My breeders guarantee that they will receive back any dog they sell if the owner is unable to care for them for any reason. Love Beacon Hill Collies for SO many reasons!

  • Shirley Angelini

    I just changed my Trust to include my pet, Megan. Who is to get her, and $100K for all of her care, i.e. Vets, grooming, etc.to take care of her like she is cared for now, Personnel Rep and attorney to make sure my wishes are carried out.

    • Norbaayah M Young

      Good for you Shirley!!!

  • Debi Garofalo

    i dont consider myself a religious person but, animals will not be left behind after the rapture. animals have no sin so if this happens you cant really believe a belevalant god would leave them behind

  • Samantha Johnson

    In the uk when I was made homeless I was told to give my animals up.. nowhere would take them temporarily. .. awful time thank god for good friends

  • redheart01

    Thks I need to work on that one but I don’t have to worry much my kids will take care of my pets if any thing happened to me.

  • Cindy Van Vreede

    The Humane Society has a program to provide free dog and cat food to people facing financial difficulties. I think it might even include cat litter, but I’m not 100% sure of that.

  • Char Hebert

    It’s in my will. The person lucky enough to get my 2 babies will be happy, entertained and will have a fat wallet to provide for their care.

  • Linda

    I have thought about this and fortunately for me I have a daughter that LOVES my dogs and will take them should anything happen. Our animals are our family, and just like any member of your family, your executrix should be made aware of where your will is located, and the person for whom you have selected to take care of your animals should have already agreed to do so BEFORE something happens. I adopted both of my dogs from shelters and it would break my heart if I thought they would end up in a shelter together (but separate). They would be so traumatized. I wouldn’t want that to happen to them. Death is not something most of us want to think about, but death and taxes are the only things for sure we know will happen. So for the love of your animal, make provisions for their care now.