Pet Trust & Emergency Preparation

PET TRUST, When your pet out lives you...

Setting up a pet trust is an important and necessary step in professionally handling the care and quality of life of your companion pet after the guardian or owner has passed. Americans love their pets. The bond between people and their animal companions has never been stronger. 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association there are over 60 million households with one companion animal. Animal companions play an increasingly important role in most peoples lives, this shows just how attached and extravagant we have become when pets are involved. 

The following reasons are why Americans have pets: Someone to play with, companionship, help their children learn, someone to communicate with and security. Pet ownership also helps reduce stress, lowering blood pressure, and mental attitude and concentration.

For many seniors citizens, a pet can be their only family, providing love, affection, and a reason to get up in the morning. Our connection with animals is so strong that 70 percent of pet owners would not hesitate to spend anywhere between $500 and $5000 on medical care to avoid euthanizing their pet. 

Increased life expectancy is compounded because our pets are living longer. In the past fifty years, pets life span has nearly doubled. A report in the Purina Pet Institute found that nearly one-third of dog owners and more than one-third of cat owners live with a senior pet, defined as being seven years of age or older.

Animal shelters are overwhelmed because more than five thousand animal rescue groups are active in this country alone. More than fifteen million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters across the nation annually. Anyone who works in rescue work will tell you that older animals are always the most difficult to place, and always the first candidates for euthanasia. 

Setting up a pet Trust

The Saint Francis Pet Foundation has compiled the following information to assist pet owners who are considering a pet trust There are two standard comparisons of a pet trust. 


* Takes effect immediately.

* Allows you to make changes easily as needed.

* Avoids probate and any delay in caring for your pet.


* Takes effect after you die.

* Avoids any type of property or fund transfer prior to your death.

* Must be probated and is subject to judicial review.

A living trust, may have additional start-up and administrative expenses. Some pet owner do not want to tie up their assets in a trust while they are still alive.

A testamentary trust does not take affect until after you die and your will has gone through probate. This is a favorite option because it does not require immediate transfer of assets into the trust. 

Top issues to consider when entering into an animal trust:

* Select a Trustee.

* Select a pet caretaker.

* Bequeath your animals to the Trustee.

* Avoid excessive funding.

* Request a desired standard of living.

* Set time limits on the trust.

* Use the trustee as a watchdog.

* Provide complete identification.

* Select a remainder beneficiary.

* Provide instructions for final disposition of pets.

* Consult your attorney about " no contest" clause in your will.

Protecting animal companions after you die is just another reason why you should consider the Saint Francis Pet Foundation for information or pet care instructions that best suites your needs



  • It must contain the types and number of pets in your household and the name and phone number of your veterinarian.


  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities for use in the event of an emergency.
  • Check with your local animal shelter to determine if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.


  • Pet first-aid and guide book
  • Canned (pop-top) or dry food
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra leash
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires
  • Bottled water
  • A pet traveling bag or sturdy carrier, ideally for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters)


  • Consider someone who lives close to your residence
  • A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual
  • Consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past
  • Provide a trust for your pet's financial future.


  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible
  • Make sure all pets are collared with up-to-date identification. Your pet's ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs.
  • Microchip your pet for permanent identification
  • Always brings pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
  • Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.


  • Locate rooms well in advance that offer safe havens. In other words, selected rooms that are clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.
  • Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage and other more foreseeable crises.
  • In the event of flooding, look for the highest location in your home, or for a room with access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

   Click here to learn more about the Staint Francis Pet Foundation Click here to contact the Saint Franics Pet Foundation


Click here to learn more about the Staint Francis Pet FoundationClick here to contact the Saint Franics Pet Foundation