If your family cant keep your dog, what would happen to your dog if you die? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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If your family cant keep your dog, what would happen to your dog if you die?

Hey guys!

So i was thinking about if i happen to die at some point and its before Zelda passes. What would happen to Zelda?? She isn't an easy dog to re-home, i am positive she would be euthanized in a shelter and i would never ever want to see her in a shelter. And my family before said they couldn't keep her, at this point they say they would make it work if i died. But i happen to know it would be greatly stressful on them, as she is a lot of work, as fond as they are of her and she is of them. I still dont know if that would be the best option.

She loves other dogs and can be a bully, and i think she could bond with another person as she has bonded with me with time and effort. She is FA to strangers, isn't good with cats. So she is not a dog i think even a rescue would care to have.

So i was wondering what would be my other options? I am just worried about it because just because it isn't supposed to happen, doesn't mean it wont. Is this something that i should figure out now, so that my family doesn't have to do it? That way its easier? I just want her to be safe and happy and loved, and live a long life.

Has anyone else thought of this? If your family cant keep your dog, what would happen to your dog if you die?

Mom of: "Zelda"
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Born: December 15, 2012
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:36 PM
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Most of my family are not dog people. I know they would do the best they could to find a good home for Newlie but I would not want to take the chance he would end up with someone who mistreated him. I have already made arrangements with Newlie's trainer to take him if something happened to me. If for some reason that did not work out, my cousin has said she wants him. When I make my new will, I am also going to set some money aside for Newlie.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:41 PM
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As gruesome as it is. Yes. I have. I have talked at length with my sister. My USAR dog will be rehomeds to another handler. Nix, unless someone who will work him wants him, will go back to the breeder and Lena will stay with my sister.

Part of my estate, such as it is, will be go to those who take my dogs and cats. To help in their care. It's in my will and reiterated to my sister.

You can also talk to local breed rescues and do something similar in exchange for them helping to screen and rehome her.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 06:32 PM
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Kudos to you VTGirl for thinking about this, I wish everyone did.

I was on the receiving end of a tragic dog inheritance situation, and it was a stressful, expensive, mess. Someone very close to me died suddenly, young. He owned two intact, purebred dogs that he loved very much. One was sweet and social, and the family nearly tore itself apart fighting over who "got to keep" her. Nasty arguments, giant mess, some of them are still holding grudges because they didn't "get" her. The second dog was intense, drivey, disliked children, and was strictly a one-person dog. When her one-person died, she decided to tear a piece out of the other dog's face, destroy a couch and tear up the floor. Somehow, that dog knew something was terribly wrong and her one-and-only person was dead. No one wanted anything to do with her. She ended up with me.

We had no idea who the breeder was, the paperwork never surfaced, all his girlfriend knew was "He talked to a breeder for months, and then he left for three days to go pick up the puppy". Not very helpful. No chip, no tattoo. Thankfully the vet's office was willing to turn over the medical records to me with minimal documentation. Even so, it cost me a ton of money and grief, damage to my house, and I had to drop out of agility with my own dog so that I had the time to get my "inherited" dog through obedience classes and deal with her reactivity.

That particular dog's story has a happy ending, she's well loved now in her forever home, and I see her often. Stable, happy, snugglebug. But the process was a nightmare, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I have a written document that dictates what happens to my dogs, should my husband and I die suddenly, and I would strongly recommend that everyone have something similar. Breeder contact info, training history, registration info, trainer contact info, and a written letter authorizing your vet to release all of their history to a named person. One of my dogs would go to my father, who loves her dearly. The other would go "home" to her breeder. Everyone involved is aware of the arrangements.

I wish everyone thought as far in advance as you are. Though hopefully the need never, ever, surfaces.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 06:37 PM
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I don't have a specific plan, but for right now, I've left contact info for both breeders along with her AKC registration info, vet contact info (for records), and breed club contact info with my brother just in case my husband and I both meet an untimely demise. I don't expect either breeder to just take her on short notice, but they/the club may be able to advise my brother. There are allergies in the family, but there are also some experienced dog people who really like her and who have talked about wanting a similar dog but not wanting to do the puppy phase, so it's not impossible that one of them might want her. I haven't asked, to be honest.

If the right guardian came up (preferably someone young and active whom she knew and liked), I'd designate funds for her care, and I am keeping my feelers out for that person because I'm the type who feels better having a plan.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 07:05 PM
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You can just make a will that says what you want to happen with the dog when you die. You can even leave money in your will to pay for the care of the dog. So the person who takes care of your dog wouldn't have to pay for vet bills, food, training, toys, etc. You could actually have it in your will to pay someone to look after you dog (cost of the dog + a salary).

So basically you would have to have a list of people or facilities and rank them in priority of who gets the dog. Then you can leave instructions to the executor of your will to make it your top priority to pay for a good home for your dog and to pay for it with assets out of your will.

Theoretically, you would need to do a lot of the same things if you had a human child under the age of 18.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 08:20 PM
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Mine would be rehomed by my friends in rescue (or adopted by them, in the case of a special needs dog).

This is a HUGE issue for me, as I've pulled some great dogs out of shelters who were taken there when the dogs' people died, and no next of kin wanted the dogs. The dogs were so confused, used to being inside on someone's couch, being loved. They also were grieving their people. It's just a sad, sad thing.

One of them was a 9 y.o. epileptic senior dog who outlived her elderly owner--exactly the sort of dog logic and finances tell you is not a "good" pull in rescue (expensive, needs lots of vet care, will be in foster a long time, hard to find a forever home for, etc., etc.) I pulled her anyway because I just couldn't stand leaving her behind as she was really suffering in the shelter environment. She was adopted by a LOVELY family that adores that old, sweet dog. We were her last shot-- no other rescues wanted her due to her age and epilepsy, and she was set to be euthanized. I think euthanasia happens more often than people want to admit in these situations.

Having the vet records with older dogs would be SO much better for us in these situations, but we never get them once a dog ends up in a shelter. Please give some thought to how vet records will get in the hands of anyone taking the dog.

For our adopters who want to talk about this, I tell them to put instructions in the will bequeathing the dog to the rescue (it's property, after all), with our contact info, and instructions to the executor to get us vet records (with the vet's contact info). Frankly, we ask that they consider making a bequest (final donation) to the rescue in the will, to help with the dog's care. The amount is up to them. If they pre-arrange it that way, and a foster spot isn't open, we can use any funds that come with the dog to cover paid-boarding at a nice place until a foster spot opens up, and keep safe and comfortable -- no waiting for a spot to open, makes things much easier.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 08:23 PM
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The current two would be returned to the breeder, the horse would return to the man that sold him to me.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:34 AM
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Faith and Ledgie would go back to their breeders. Unfortunately Bruiser is fighting three types of cancer, is on palliative care and doesn't really have very long to live, so he'd probably have to be put down.

Gayle, Faith, Ledgie, Scooby
At the Bridge: Andy, Abbey, Tasha, Tex, Echo, Yukon, JR, Too, Niki, Bo, Ringer, Kelly, Honey, Mac, Slider & Bruiser
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:40 AM
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I have a good friend who loves this breed. I have told my family to send them to her. If she couldn't keep them, I know she would find them a good home.
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