Uniondale, NY, April 11, 2017—Americans spent nearly $63 billion on their pets last year, but there may be no money better spent than protecting them in case of death, disability, or divorce of their pet parents. In recognition of National Pet Day, the Veterinary Practice Group (VPG) of the law firm of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, LLP offers the following tips for pet owners to prepare for life’s unexpected twists and turns.
· Proof of Ownership: Custody battles over pets during divorce or separation are fairly commonplace. Proof of ownership such as AKC registration, paperwork from the shelter at the time of adoption showing who adopted the pet, or a written acknowledgment of ownership are ways to establish legal ownership.
“The old saying that possession is nine tenths of the law may be true in many cases, but proof of ownership supersedes possession when it comes to pets,” said Mary Mongoi, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Veterinary Practice Group.
· A Pet Trust: If there are concerns over who would care for a pet in case of death or disability, owners should discuss it with the person or organization with whom they feel comfortable entrusting the care of their pet. The agreement should be formalized by retaining counsel and establishing a Pet Trust, which may be contained within the last Will and Testament or in a separate lifetime trust. The trust should contain provisions directing with whom the pet should reside and provide funds to the person or organization for the lifetime care of the pet.
“This document must be in writing to be binding and should be kept in a place where it is easily located by those who will handle your legal affairs upon your death or disability,” added Ms. Mongoi. “Most people don’t have 12 million dollars to leave to their pet like Leona Helmsley did for Trouble, but their pets are just as much a part of their family, and can be easily provided for. These trusts are not just for the super-rich.”
· Vaccination Record: While your veterinarian will have these records on file, keeping a hard copy comes in handy when pet is boarded at a kennel or is checked into a pet-friendly hotel.
· Microchips: Unlike traditional collars and tags, microchips do not need to be replaced regularly, don’t fall off, and don’t wear out. A microchip implant gives the pet owner the best chance of being reunited with their pet when a lost pet is found. With the assistance of a veterinarian or shelter equipped with a scanner that can activate the chip, the owner can be located through the database maintained by the chip company via the owner’s unique identification number. Some microchip registration databases allow the pet’s medical records to be stored so that it can be accessed by whoever is caring for the pet until it is returned to the owner.
· Pet Insurance: Pet insurance has been improved and become more cost effective over the past five years. Pet insurance takes the cost of medical care out of the equation and allows owners to avoid making medical decisions based on the ability to pay for care. Most pet insurance policies reimburse up to 80 percent of costs after deductibles, and most also provide flexible payment plans.
“Employers are beginning to offer pet insurance as an employee benefit, making reduced premiums available if enough employees participate in the plan, at no cost to the employer,” said Daniel Dornfeld, another partner in the VPG practice. “It’s a win for everyone involved, especially the pets.”
Cats Exclusively Vets recommend Save this Life Microchips. They have a one-time implant registration charge and NO ANNUAL FEE.
Save This Life's innovative technology has revolutionized the pet recovery process. The leaders of Save This Life are former rescuers who have developed a superior method of helping lost pets find their way home safely. They created Save This Life as a response to their frustration and disappointment in traditional microchip companies' pet recovery systems.
The standard pet recovery systems require the microchip number to be read by a scanner or from an animal identification tag and then called in to one of many microchip databases. A participating company's operator then attempts to connect the pet finder and pet owner by telephone. Obvious problems that arise here are illegible tags, the inability to connect the finder and owner by telephone, the exhausting search through multiple companies' registries to find the correct registry, the inability to find the pet owner in the database because the annual fee is not paid or contact information is not current, among others.
Save This Life has invented a way to utilize a quick Google™ search to eliminate all of these issues.
Each Save This Life microchip number is searchable in a Google™ search. When someone finds a pet and performs a quick Google™ search of the microchip number, they are able to privately contact the pet owner with a text message and an email. The pet owner receives a GPS map, powered by Google Maps™ of where the person who found their pet is actually located.
Each Save This Life microchip comes with an aluminum, machine stamped ID tag with search this #(microchip number ex 90016400041142) to find my family," as opposed to a plastic, ink stamped tag or a tag with no microchip number on it, like their competitors.
The microchips themselves are 134.2 kHz ISO compliant readable by all universal scanners. Each microchip is embedded in a bio-thermal glass encapsulation and coated with Parylene C, which prevents migration, then loaded into a 2-finger non-slip grip applicator, which allows for easier implantation. The syringe needle is laser-beveled for maximum sharpness, minimizing discomfort for the pet.
There are no registration fees, no annual fees and no fees to update information or transfer pet owners. Save This Life also sends out free Lost Pet Alerts to the shelters and rescues within a 25 mile radius of where a lost pet was last seen and a Lost Pet Alert Poster to the pet owner.
In addition, $1000 of Lost Pet Health Insurance is included with each microchip. Each pet receives coverage for up to $1,000 in emergency care for accidents that may occur while he or she is lost for one year after activation.
Save This Life microchips are exclusively distributed by Henry Schein Animal Health, the largest veterinary distribution company in the world.