Many elderly people are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they can no longer care for them – both temporarily and permanently.
The Home Ever After program was created by the RSPCA to care for pets in an emergency and to rehome pets in the event of a person’s death. It was developed specifically to support older members in our community to ensure that they can continue to enjoy the significant benefits of pet ownership in their final years of life.
Once a person has registered their pet in the Home Ever After Program, they receive a 24-hour hotline number to arrange for an RSPCA Queensland rescue team member to collect their pet in an emergency.
The program’s welcome pack also includes stickers that can be placed in prominent positions around the home to advise emergency services personnel. This peace of mind is very important for people who don’t have a support network to care for their beloved pets in an emergency.
The steps for caring for pets in the program are:
- Short-term care: If a person is incapacitated or in hospital, RSPCA Queensland will collect their pets and care for them in one of their nine animal shelters throughout the state.
- Long-term care: If the person requires support for an extended period, RSPCA Queensland will place their pets with carefully selected foster carers and cover the cost of this care.
- Permanent care: In the event of the person’s passing or admission to an aged care facility, RSPCA Queensland will arrange for their pets to be adopted into a loving home that matches as closely as possible, their former home. This support includes veterinary checks and any necessary medical treatment, behaviour assessment and training and other requirements for the pets to be best placed in the adoption program. RSPCA Queensland has decades of experience in animal adoptions and rehoming.
Advice for your clients:
Your client should register their pet in RSPCA Queensland’s Home Ever After program. This includes providing detailed information about their specific needs, feeding routines and personality traits. We hold this information on record to ensure, should the time come, we have all that we require to care for their pet and ultimately match them with the right, loving new family.
We request that your client considers leaving a thoughtful gift to RSPCA Queensland in their will to help with the costs of running this valuable community program, which is completely funded by donations.
RSPCA Queensland also recommends that people leave instructions in their will regarding their pet to give clarity and certainty to their final wishes regarding their pet’s future.
The RSPCA’s Home Ever After program also means that everyone can continue to enjoy the love and companionship of a pet throughout their entire life.
Case study – Monty’s home ever after…
Many years ago, Judy, a consummate animal lover, made the important decision to leave a bequest to RSPCA Queensland in her will.
“My initial reason for taking this step was to assist RSPCA Queensland to fund the amazing work they do for animals that are suffering and/or abused,” she said. “Protecting animals is very important to me, and this was my way of stepping up and helping.
“Following this, I became aware of the wonderful Home Ever After program, and completed the necessary forms to register my beautiful cats under that program. This gave me peace of mind should something happen to me.”
Recently, Judy faced an emergency health situation which saw her hospitalised for several weeks.
“My friends immediately contacted the local RSPCA Shelter. It was such a relief to know that my precious pets were in excellent hands. They kept close contact with me throughout my hospitalisation.
“Unfortunately, Meg, one of my beautiful cats, was almost 20 years old and an existing untreatable health condition deteriorated, so the vets at the shelter asked for my permission to end her suffering, to which I agreed. They were wonderful, organising Meg’s cremation and return of her ashes to me in a beautiful tribute box which I had chosen.”
After a long stay in hospital and ongoing health issues, Judy sadly realised she wasn’t able to care for Monty when she returned home, so 19-year-old Monty was rehomed into a loving, new family.
“I believe he is being very spoilt. Once again, an enormous relief for me. I cannot find words to express my appreciation for the wonderful work carried out by RSPCA Queensland, one of the most deserving charities.”
Leslie lost her beloved 15-year-old cat to aggressive cancer and after months of grieving, she knew her empty house and heart were in need of a new furry companion. That’s when she found Monty, a second chance senior looking for a new home at the RSPCA.
“Monty has settled in well and is very mellow but still has lots of love to give,” she said “Just as the RSPCA described him! He has a few favourite spots to nap around the house. He can be quite vocal, but I also enjoy having him curl up on my lap every chance he gets.
“I was also quite pleasantly surprised at how spry and agile he still is! No doubt a credit to former owner for keeping him in such good health all of these years!
“I don’t see myself as Monty’s new owner. Monty’s original owner will always have that title. I see myself as Monty’s trusted guardian for this final chapter of his life and look forward to making sure it is the best chapter ever!”