It’s a common concern among elderly pet owners. What will happen to my precious pets when I pass away or if I become disabled? Animal retirement homes are springing up around the country to address this need.
Animals often come to pet retirement homes from elderly owners who are no longer able to care for them. These animals are often older, too, and they develop health problems of their own. Sometimes the owner moves into a long-term care facility that won’t take their pet. Or perhaps the owner passes away and there’s nobody willing to take on the care of an animal.
It’s becoming increasingly common for elderly people to make their pet one of the beneficiaries in their will, or to pre-pay for pet retirement care. This offers them the comfort of knowing that their beloved pet will be well cared for until the end of its life.
Check out a few of these pet retirement homes:
Stevenson Companion Life-Care Center in Texas:
Dogs and cats receive a home, as well as medical care for the rest of their lives. The facility also accepts more unusual pets such as birds, horses, and donkeys. As a branch of Texas A&M University, veterinary students live onsite and help care for the animals. Individual endowments from the pet’s owners, as well as private donations, pay for the life-long care.
Tabby’s Place Guardian Angel Program in New Jersey:
This facility specializes in the care of older cats and those with special needs such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Owners pay a one-time fee of $15,000 for life-long care. However, cats are also adopted out whenever possible.
Bark-N-Rest in Texas:
This pet retirement home and hospice cares for elderly, special needs, and terminally ill dogs. Animals typically come from shelters where they were surrendered by their owners or picked up as strays. Had they not been rescued, the dogs probably would have been put to sleep. Dogs may be put up for adoption if their health improves while at the facility. Fundraising and private donations cover the cost of care.
Blue Bell Sanctuary in California:
Permanent housing is provided for older cats whose owners are no longer able to care for them. They are also a special needs facility for cats with medical conditions. A one-time fee of $7500 provides care for life. As funds allow, they also accept unadoptable cats from local shelters. The sanctuary features large gardens that provide insects, butterflies, and birds to entertain the cats.
Roken Honpo in Japan: (Roken means “geriatric health services facility”.)
Some of the dogs who live here wear diapers due to incontinence. Others require wheelchair-like devices for mobility. Rates for care start at the equivalent of about $660 a month. In Japan, many retirement homes for pets came about due to an unusual law. It requires people to care for their pets until the pets die or until they can find someone else to care for them.
Aeonpet in Japan:
This luxury pet nursing home provides around the clock care for dogs. Amenities include a gym, swimming pool, massages, and a large grooming area. The cost for care is the equivalent of about $1500 per month. Owners can check on their pets via webcams.
For a more personal view of a pet retirement home, please check out this video from House With A Heart in Maryland:
So, what do you think about the concept of a retirement home for pets? Please let us know in the comment section!
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