NewsHillsborough County


What happens to your pet when you die?

Posted at 12:41 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 17:18:33-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — For many of us our dog or cat is a member of the family. However, have you actually thought about what would happen to your pet, if something happened to you?

Bob Watson’s cat Tommy is his best friend. Watson obviously wants to make sure Tommy is well cared for should something happen to him.

“I have all the paperwork I need on the cat, I got paperwork that’s about that thick,” said Watson.

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However, not everyone is as prepared as Watson. Elder Law Attorney Danielle Faller is traveling to senior living centers around Hillsborough County explaining the facts.

“There are some studies that say about five to seven million dogs are surrendered to shelters after an owner's demise; and you are going to look at three to four million of those being euthanized because people haven’t planned properly,” said Faller.

She said pet owners need to make sure they have a person in writing who is willing and ready to take over custody of the animal when needed.

“Will the custodian provide the standard of living that you like? Does your dog need a backyard? Does your dog like to go on the boat? Are they going to be home a lot? Are they going to be working a lot?,” said Faller.

Faller said one of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving money to their pet.

“It’s important to realize pets are property and they can’t inherit property,” said Faller.

Faller said that money needs to go to the custodian with specific guidelines of what it’s to be used for.

“What if your animal is more on the geriatric side, that has more health care issues,” said Faller.

For more information on Faller's seminars, go to