Commentary – Thinking Ahead

When we receive applications to adopt a greyhound, we often find that many people want to adopt a greyhound because “the time is right” for them. If you have adopted a greyhound (whether it’s from our group or anywhere else), have you thought of what would happen to your hound if something happened to you?

We have, on occasion, experienced the loss of an adopter and the greyhound has been left without a family or caretaker. Like other groups, we take all of the hounds back that we have adopted if the need arises. But we may not always be around to be the safety net for dogs that have been left behind and we may not be able to help if the family members do not know to contact us to take the dog back.

If you have not thought about who would take your hound(s) if something happens to you, then now is the time!

Here are some suggestions that will help you plan for emergencies and family crises that should help your dogs in the event that you can’t care for them any longer:

Most car accidents happen close to home. What would happen if you were in an accident and could not speak? Who would know that you have pets at home? Keep a card in your wallet stating that you have pets at home along with phone numbers of someone who could be contacted. Make sure that person is willing to take care of your pets in the event that you are hospitalized. We also suggest that you keep this same information in the glove box of your car. That way someone has to see it.

If you are on a trip and have an accident and your dogs are being boarded, make sure you carry this information as well. Tell a neighbor or friend who can make arrangments to get your pets out of the kennel in the event that you cannot make it home as planned.

If you have a will, make sure that it mentions your pets and make sure that someone has been appointed as their guardian until they can be placed with a group or other adopter. This will prevent your pets from being taken to a shelter. By all means, make family members aware of the fact that you want your pets cared for in the event of your death. When a death occurs in a family, people often are too grief stricken to make rational decisions regarding pets. They can end up in a shelter or given away to someone who will take them without regard for their well being. Don’t allow this to happen to your hound!

Prepare an information sheet about all of your pets and keep it posted on your refrigerator or bulletin board in your kitchen. Make sure all of your pets are listed by name and include information such as type and amount of food they eat, any medications they take, names and phone numbers of veterinarians, names and phone numbers of friends/family members who are willing to take your pets in the event of an emergency.

You can access a document that we posted on the Greytlinks page of our web site to help you prepare for emergencies. Look for “Emergency Planning” under Greyhound Help Links. We thank Nevada Greyhounds Unlimited for giving us permission to use this document. You can also access it by clicking on the title of this post.

We all love our pets. We would never want anything bad to happen to them. But we often over look all the possibilities. Take these important steps so that you will have peace of mind that your pets will have a place to go in the event that you are no longer around to take care of them.

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