“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains un-awakened” Antole France

Animals have been mans’ partners since the beginning of time. They have carried us, tilled our fields, and borne burdens too heavy for humans. Throughout time animals have earned a much higher status, they have transformed into our loving and friendly companions.

America is a nation of pet owners and while cats and dogs may be most popular we do not discriminate.  Birds, fish, horses, turtles pigs and/ or reptiles have all found loving forever homes. In their eyes we are the center of their universe (especially when we are petting them and providing their food!)  In return they provide constant companionship when humans are not so available.

Research show that they also help to lower blood pressure, combat depression and loneliness, as well as relieve stress and provide comfort.  As we age the importance of animals in our lives should not be overlooked but sadly this happens.  People as they age often are unwilling to keep animals because they worry about what will happen to their pet when they are no longer able to provide for their care.  This concern should not prevent you from experiencing the joy of being a pet parent.

In Florida and many other states you can make a plan for the care of your pet through a Pet Trust. These trusts are specifically designed to allow you to tell others how you want your pets cared for and by whom. They can be funded now or alternatively with an insurance policy that will be paid later.  The trust can remain in force until the death of the last pet still alive after you die. If there is a balance remaining in the account that money will be directed to a pet rescue group or other charity.

So today, in observance of National Puppy Day or any day, remember not to deprive yourself of the unconditional love of a pet and include them in your estate planning!