DEAR ABBY: Please remind your readers, young or old, to make provisions for their beloved pets in the event of major illness or death. I have rescued more than 10 cats from the local shelters this week alone.
These were all brought in individually by families of people who have passed away and made no specific provisions for their pets. The families are always happy to take the personal property, house, furniture, cars, etc., but the pets are up for grabs and end up in a cold, sterile animal shelter, not knowing what happened to them and why their home and their human companions are gone.
This is a real tragedy, and in most cases these animals are euthanized. The lucky ones are adopted by people like me who hear about their plight. Even if people cannot afford to have an attorney draw up a will, they should have handwritten instructions (holographic will) and leave it with a responsible person. There is no one to speak for these animals when their owners are gone. Please, Abby, get the word out to the public. -- CAROLE ELLIS, LOS ANGELES
DEAR CAROLE: I'm pleased to help. As important as putting the instructions in writing is to make sure in advance that the animal would be a welcome member of the family in the event of the owner's death or disability. Some pets, specifically some species of birds, can live to 75 years or so. And they deserve to live to a ripe old age if they are able to.