Advance Planning For Pets? The RSPCA can be a big help when you are at end of life.
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
The RSPCA in NSW has a fantastic program for pet owners who are at end of life and who wish to ensure their pets will be well-cared for in a new furever home.
The Home Ever After program was created by RSPCA NSW employee and animal advocate Lisa Brennan, and works to match your pet with a new home and owner that is as similar to your home - and you as a person - as possible. For example, if you are an older single male who lives alone in a unit, the service will try to find another older, single, unit-dwelling male owner for your pet, with the aim of miniminsing stress and anxiety for pets when there is an unavoidable change of living circumstance for them.
Lisa is an animal behaviouralist, so her Northern NSW-based assessments are particularly thorough and detailed. Maria Natera, from the service in Southern NSW, will also help ensure your peace of mind when it comes to finding out as much detail as possible about your pet so a good match can be sourced. The RSPCA Home Ever After rep comes to your home to meet your pet and find out about their preferences and living habits, so even elderly or less-mobile people (as some of us are at end of life due to illness, age, or a combination of both) are able to have the service put in place with minimal fuss. Your pet's breed, temperament, age, food preferences, and treat brands are noted, as are the dietary requirements for older or special-needs pets - and the daily routine of activities (including lap cuddles and snooze times) are all detailed in the services records.
Not all of us are in a position where trusted friends or family members can take our pets into their lives and homes, so the Home Ever After program fills that gap, helping to ease anxiety about our pet's future and easing the strain of end of life decisions.
The Home Ever After program has been such a success that the RSPCA in some other Australian states have adopted this model, and New Zealand has also bought the program so it can be implemented there, too. The Home Ever After program is free, however the service does encourage people who do use the program to consider a donation left in their will to the RSPCA. Both FAQs about the Home Ever After program and email addresses for both NSW reps are available in the link above.
If you have questions about further advance planning for your pets, including how you can go about leaving funds in your will for your pet's upkeep and future vetinary bills, or how you can leave a charitable donation in your will (HINT: The RSPCA and Guide Dogs are always in need of funds, to name but two worthy animal charities), please contact me. I am an End of Life Consultant who specialises in advance planning and creative solutions for all my clients, and I offer services tailored to the needs of pet owners.