New dog care scheme will look after pets if owners get sick or die
Dog owners can sign up for a new card that will ensure their pet is looked after if they suddenly get sick or die.
A local charity says more than half of Northern Ireland dog owners have no plan for their pets if their circumstances change drastically.
Dogs Trust says their free card system takes the risk out of the situation and guarantees the dog a safe place with them and gives hope of a new home if necessary.
And they compared their Canine Care Card plan to carrying an organ donor card; available in an emergency in the hope that it will never be needed.
Today, based in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, the charity urges owners to think ahead and take precautions to care for their dog in the event that their dog becomes seriously ill or dies.
(Image: Dogs Trust)
Their research shows that 55% of local dog owners haven’t made any plans or even thought about who, in the worst case scenario, would take care of their dog.
And although 46% of owners believe friends or family members would look after their pet, they haven’t discussed it with them or made any set plans.
The charity says owners could place their dogs in a vulnerable position by not taking care of their care if they become seriously ill or die. 32% of respondents in Northern Ireland admit they didn’t even think about what would happen in this scenario.
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And 7% said they had no one to help, a cause for concern for the charity.
Now, Dogs Trust is encouraging the public to sign up for their free Canine Care Card service to ensure their dog can be looked after by the UK’s largest canine charity at one of their state-of-the-art relocation centers should the owner get too sick to keep them to be able to or to die.
You can follow these steps to become a Canine Care Card holder:
Choose your dog guardian – they can register your dog with Dogs Trust if you are unable to. Make sure it is someone you trust, e.g. For example, a friend, family member, or lawyer. Ask them before you apply as we need their contact details.
Fill out the online application form – have the contact details of your chosen dog owner and your dog’s microchip number ready before you start. Find it here.
Receive your Canine Care Card – when it arrives fill in the details and slip it in your wallet or purse with your other cards so it can always be found.
Leave instructions in your will – confirm your wishes in your will to ensure they are granted. We suggest the formulation: “It is also my wish that Dogs Trust looks after my dog and / or puts it back into quarters at the time of my death”.
The charity also encourages dog owners to appoint a “dog guardian”. This could be a family member, friend, or even a neighbor or veterinarian who agrees to look after your dog and in the meantime, hand your dog over to Dogs Trust in case you are no longer able to do so.
Dogs Trust also recommends updating your will to include your Canine Care Card information and informing friends and family of your wishes to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible in due course.
Conor O’Kane, Rehoming Center Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena said:
“Recent world events have shown that we never know what’s coming and that life can be unpredictable.
“As a nation of dog lovers, we know the little quirks that make our dogs unique, and I enjoy knowing that Dogs Trust is the next best thing when the time comes when I can’t be with my dog Place for them and they will never euthanize a healthy dog.
“We want to normalize the planning for the care of your dog in an emergency, so that dog owners can rest assured that their four-legged friend will be cared for as best as possible when this is no longer possible.
(Image: Dogs Trust)
“We strongly encourage dog owners to consider signing up for a free Canine Care Card so that, in the worst case scenario, Dogs Trust can take your dog in and make sure they are looked after at home.
“Max and Wills, both Yorkshire Terriers, who were first adopted by the Dogs Trust in 2014, lived with their loving owners until they both unfortunately died.
“The owners of Max and Wills had signed up for a Canine Care Card, and with the help of their family, we were able to take care of the couple’s beloved dogs again and Max and Wills were moved together.”
And their new owners absolutely love them and say: “Max and Wills are a blessing and we are very happy that they have chosen us. You have settled in very well and are a pleasure. They make us smile every day. “
The message comes when the charity launches a heartwarming TV ad encouraging people to sign up for a free dog grooming card.
The ad, in the voice of dog-loving actor Jonathan Pryce, shows the close connection between mixed breed Wilf and his owner Tom – including Wilf’s penchant for stealing Tom’s underpants. Tom dies sadly, but luckily he signed up for the Dogs Trust Canine Care Card, which means Wilf and all of his quirks have been accepted by the charity. The ad will air on UK television screens for eight weeks.
You can apply for the Dogs Trust Canine Care Card by clicking here.
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