It is estimated that approximately 500,000 dog and cat owners die annually or are incapacitated without arranging for proper care and supervision of their pets. As a result, many pets end up in shelters where their future remains uncertain.
In an effort to provide tools and resources that help pet parents better provide for long term or permanent care of their pets, the ASPCA has entered into a partnership with LegalZoom.com, an online provider of individualized legal documents designed for families and small business owners.
The cornerstone of this relationship is the Pet Protection Agreement®. Created by animal law attorney Rachel Hirschfeld, the agreement provides a simple and easy way for pet parents to designate who will take responsibility for their pets and how care will be provided in the event the pet parent is unable to do so. Some of the key features include the designation of a Pet-Guardian, successor Pet-Guardians and an Organization of Last Resort, as well as a beneficiary of any remaining funds. The ASPCA or a local animal welfare organization in your area can serve as the Organization of Last Resort should the Pet-Guardians be unable to serve in their capacity. Certain restrictions apply. Further details are outlined in the Pet Protection Agreement® on www.legalzoom.com/pets.
If you have questions about the Organization of Last Resort Policy, please contact the ASPCA's Trusts and Estates department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4783 or via email at email@example.com.
When purchasing, please make sure to enter code ASPCAPPA. LegalZoom.com will donate from 10% to 15% of the purchase price of each new Pet Protection Agreement® to the ASPCA, with a minimum guarantee of $175,000, through June 30, 2014.
In addition, LegalZoom will provide another valuable source of funding by allowing people to leave charitable gifts to the ASPCA when they complete a Last Will or Living Trust. In fact, for the first six months of the relationship, the ASPCA will be designated as the "preferred animal welfare charity" benefactor in all Wills and Trusts.