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Wee Bebe

By Harriet Kaufman, HCWS Volunteer

Not knowing anything about the Sloans, I picked up the telephone to speak with Lorna, and unbeknownst to me – she’s a true “Scot”! With her heavy Scottish accent, Lorna and I spoke at length about Bebe, the ten-year-old Shih Tzu she adopted from HCWS in May of this year.

Bebe came to Heaven Can Wait after being mistreated at the hands of the benefactor of Bebe’s original owner, who passed away. Before the owner died arrangements had been made for Bebe’s care. Money was left to her friend in order for Bebe to live out a comfortable life in a loving home. However, that person was horribly irresponsible and almost cost Bebe her life. HCWS stepped in and convinced the friend to surrender the dog.

Everyone at HCWS was worried that it might be difficult to place Bebe at this point, due to her age, but this story has a wonderfully happy ending! 

Bebe's Pet Parents Just Love Her to Bits!

Lorna Sloan was desperate for a canine companion, as she often found herself alone and lonely, while her husband, Richard, was working. She began to discuss with him the possibility of adopting a dog, but Richard was not particularly interested in having a pet. Finally, after some further prodding, Richard agreed to adopt a dog, with a few restrictions. The dog must be house-trained, small, not shed, and quiet. Lorna thought that was it. She would never have a doggie by her side!

In any case, she began searching for their perfect fit. She went onto websites and visited shelters. They both spent some real quality time waiting for the right companion for them. One day, they walked into PetSmart where HCWS was having adoptions. There they saw Bebe, sitting quietly in her cage, surrounded by bouncing, barking, yappy young pups! They fell in love on the spot. 

They took Bebe home, and while at first she was very quiet, she finally made herself right at home. “She’s fantastic,” says Lorna. “She wiggles her bum and snorts, and she has the cutest wee bark,” Lorna states in her Scottish accent! “She is an absolute joy, and Richard and I just love her to bits.” She states that she hopes that everyone will consider the older dogs for adoption, as often not everyone is suited for the younger pups. In fact, Shih Tzu’s are known for their longevity and can easily live up to twenty years old. The Sloans are even considering adopting another.

Although you cannot leave money directly to your pets, in the case of your death, there are many things you can do to provide for their safety. Many states (including Nevada) do allow for their care in wills and trusts.
First and foremost, if you would like to leave money for the care of a beloved companion animal, be sure to have it written in your will that you would like the funds to be held with an executor in a trust. Do not leave the funds directly with the person to whom you leave the pet. This eliminates mishandling of the animal and the money.
Second, always choose more than one guardian. That way, should there be an unexpected problem with the main adopter, there are plans in writing for the pet to be placed in a secondary (or even a third) home. Whatever method you choose, it is important to talk to the people with whom you would like to take your pet to make certain that they are able and willing to care for it.
In addition, in most states after a death, it takes approximately six months to a year to complete the probate process and to distribute property. Therefore, conditional bequests are usually discouraged. Creating a pet trust, however, can take effect before your death – if you were to become incapacitated. The provisions of a will only, do not take effect until after your death.
Another suggestion is to consider what will happen with money left in a trust for the care of your pet, should the pet pass away prior to your death. When your will is written, be certain to word the clause so that the money is distributed only if your pet is still alive.
Lastly, be sure to keep your will and trust up to date (and consult an attorney for their advice).
Remember that, legally, your pet is considered by law to be an item of property. If you die, it will have a new owner. Securing your cherished pet’s future after your death is perhaps the most important and final loving act you can do for them.
Please, arrange for them to be left to people who recognize their value and who realize that they are much, much more than just another piece of property.

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