Pet Guardianship Program
At the LA/SPCA, we believe that our pets are part of our family. Just like we may provide for our children at the time of our passing, we want to do the same for our pets. Sometimes, it is not possible to make arrangements for our pets with family or friends, which is why you may want to designate that the care of your animals be entrusted to the LA/SPCA. By making such arrangements we would be honored for these participants to become members of the Paws to Bequest society.
The goal of the program is to take over the care of your (up to 5) cats, dogs and other small domesticated pets (whether or not they were adopted from the LA/SPCA) with the ultimate goal of rehoming your animals to another loving home. More pets may be considered on a case by case basis. Your pet will receive a full medical and behavioral evaluation at the time of your passing to determine the best course of action for your animal. We will do our best to provide your pet with a positive outcome. Your pets will be treated as dear friends while we search for the perfect new family. They will have access to whatever medical care they need and that we are able to provide to ensure their good health, and will get lots of love as they transition to a new life. If multiple pets are left together and are bonded, we will do our best to rehome them together, but no guarantees can be made. Ultimately, our goal is to provide a loving home to every animal. After evaluation by the LA/SPCA behavior and medical team, if it is evident that your pet is suffering, has a poor quality of life or is a danger to the public, euthanasia may be considered. In the event of emergency, such as a hurricane evacuation, LA/SPCA staff will make decisions for the most positive outcome available for your pet.
How to Enroll
Have an estate planning attorney draw up a will or trust for you that names the LA/SPCA as the guardian and caregiver for your pet(s).
We ask that you specify if the pets can be brought to our shelter or if transportation will need to be provided. We can only guarantee providing transportation for animals residing in Orleans or Plaquemines parish. Shelter staff will need to be notified of this need, so it is suggested someone is designated to contact shelter staff as soon as possible so arrangements can be made for the care of any animals.
The following is suggested language for a will or a trust concerning a pet: I give any pet(s) that I may own at the time of my death to [name of family member/friend]. If he/she is unable to provide for my pet(s) I give my pet(s) to [name of alternate family member/friend]. If he/she is unable to provide for my pets, I give my pet(s) to LA/SPCA. I authorize LA/SPCA to evaluate my pet(s) and determine in its exclusive judgment whether the animal is in a condition to be healthy and treatable. I authorize LA/SPCA to place my pet(s) in a new home.
Complete the Pet Biography Form for each of your animals.
This information will enable us to ensure they continue to receive the best care possible and that this care be continued in their new adoptive homes. We suggest you review this information often and update the forms as needed.
Name the LA/SPCA as a beneficiary of your will or trust, life insurance policy or retirement account and provide a copy of the pertinent pages to the Development Team at LASPCA.
We kindly request a suggested minimum donation amount of $5,000 per animal that will be placed under our care. As we will not know what your pet may need, this donation will greatly assist us with all costs associated with their evaluations, treatments, care and re-homing as LA/SPCA relies on donations in order to effectively deliver our services for the community.
Keep a copy of the Pet Biography Form with your will or trust and inform the executor of your estate or trustee of your intentions.