It’s natural to imagine that we will outlive our pets, or that they will be taken care of if we’re incapacitated. But life rarely goes according to plan, and pets often pay the price for our lack of forethought. That’s why Rescue Ranch encourages families to plan for their beloved pet’s future. It’s not only good for the animals, it’s easier on family and friends.
We first met Bella a few months ago. The black and white pit bull mix came to us after being surrendered to a shelter by her owner’s family. We soon learned that he had not intended to give her up. When he was released, he was so happy to hear that she was safe with us. We gladly returned her and thought that was the end of the story.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Despite his surgery, Bella’s owner passed away. It was a particularly sad situation because he was discovered during a wellness check. When he didn’t answer the door, first responders broke in. That’s when they discovered that he had died in his sleep. They found Bella in a corner, trembling and uncooperative. Animal Control removed her with a catchpole and took her to the local shelter.
The family cared about her, but they either didn’t know how, or were unable, to take her on. Nine days after her surrender, Bella went on the kill-list. She was scheduled to die on Christmas Eve.
Luckily, her rescuers let us know what was going on.
Bella is now safe, but her full recovery will take a little more time.
Although she was returned to her owner, Bella was a Rescue Ranch dog, which meant we would automatically take her back. This is an important detail because, lately, we just haven’t had the kennel space to meet the ever-increasing demand.
Bella is a lovely six-and-a-half-year-old, medium-sized pitty. Unfortunately, she’s shy and mistrustful. She was very attached to her owner but not well socialized otherwise. As a result, she’s leery of new people. Her sudden loss and recent ordeal have left her traumatized and even more withdrawn.
Now begins the work to rebuild her confidence and trust. We want to give her the best chance of finding the loving home she so desperately needs.
As sad as her story is, Bella is one of the lucky ones.
It could easily have gone the other way, as it so often does for pets of all kinds. The good news is that you can take precautions to avoid a bad outcome:
- Plan and make your wishes known
- Tell loved ones that your pet is a family-member
- Socialize your pet
- Identify people you know and trust who can adopt or foster until a home is found.
- Set up a fund for your pet’s care
- Research no-kill shelters in your area
- Find other resources (networks, groups, fosters …)
No plan is foolproof, but nothing beats the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have done your best to plan for your pet’s future.