Pets and your will
Guidelines on Bequeathing Pets to Animal Samaritans
Many clients and supporters of Animal Samaritans ask about the possibility of entrusting their pet(s) to the care of the Animal Samaritans after their death.
While Animal Samaritans’ first recommendation always is to identify a trusted and willing friend or family member to care for your pet after your death, sometimes this is not possible. Therefore, Animal Samaritans has adopted the following guidelines to help pet owners as they prepare their wills and consider charitable giving.
Animal Samaritans believes that perpetual sheltering is not a suitable fate for an animal that has been living in a home. Pets are accepted with the understanding that every effort will be made to place the animal in a new home as quickly as possible.
To bequeath your dog or cat, please take care to complete the steps outlined in the PROCEDURES section below and to provide the BEQUEST COMMITMENT at the appropriate level.
A few essential guidelines are the following:
- Animal Samaritans’ adoption program is limited to cats and dogs.
- Animal Samaritans needs to have the vaccination record and medical records for each pet. Keep your pet’s medical records with your will or with your estate executor. Each pet Animal Samaritans offers for adoption must be in good health and neutered/spayed before going to a new home. You are urged to take care of these requirements before your pet comes to us.
- Animals must be of non-aggressive temperament. Rest assured, the adoption program goes the extra distance to match a pet’s temperament and requirements with an adoptive family’s lifestyle. Animals who are taken from their own homes sometimes suffer from stress and anxiety. The staff and volunteers make every effort to alleviate these problems through personal attention, grooming, exercise and socialization techniques.
In every instance, Animal Samaritans considers what is best for the animals. For this reason, Animal Samaritans will keep animals only as long as they are physically and mentally healthy. If the animal(s) start to significantly deteriorate in body or spirit, euthanasia must be considered. This happens very rarely at Animal Samaritans. The decision to put an animal to sleep rests solely with the staff and requires the approval of the vet.
As a non-profit organization, Animal Samaritans must continually seek donations to fund its current humane and therapeutic programs. Costs to shelter, feed, groom, and provide medical care for the orphaned animals in our care are substantial. Therefore it is necessary that charitable bequest donors make the following financial provisions in order for Animal Samaritans to accept their pets:
- Dogs and cats under three years of age - $1,000 per animal
- Dogs and cats three to six years old - $2,000 per animal
- Dogs and cats over six years of age - $5,000 per animal
Pets with special medical or behavioral requirements may require an additional donation.
Animal Samaritans’ adoption program is not one where animals are simply placed in the first available home. Every step is taken to ensure that each adoption is a permanent match. If you wish to bequeath your dog or cat, please take care to complete the following steps to ensure your pet’s smooth and successful transition into a new situation.
1. Ask your attorney to state specifically in your will that you wish to entrust your pet to Animal Samaritans' adoption program.
2. Inform the executor of your estate, family members, and/or friends that you wish to have your pet cared for by Animal Samaritans so that the transfer of your pet can be accomplished as soon as possible.
3. Complete the Relinquishment form, available from Animal Samaritans Development Director 760.601.3754 and place it on file with your will and send it to Animal Samaritans, Development Department, P.O. Box 513, Thousand Palms, CA 92276. This form provides Animal Samaritans with important information about your pet’s name, medical history, lifestyle, preferences, and behavioral characteristics that will help staff find the best possible match with a new family.
4. Ask your attorney to incorporate into your will the following suggested language for making a charitable contribution to the Center. Your gift may be unrestricted, or designated to the adoption program, or any other program that interests you.
I give to Animal Samaritans, a non-profit, California corporation (Federal ID # 95-3171867), currently located at 72307 Ramon Road, Thousand Palms, CA 92276, the sum of $ dollars (or, if insurance policies, land or other property, please describe). This gift is unrestricted, and may be designated at the discretion of the board of directors.
This gift is restricted for the adoption program (or specify other program at Animal Samaritans).
It is Animal Samaritans’ policy to assess a 10% overhead recovery fee to all bequests made to the Center (this is charged against the actual bequest and is not an extra charge.)
NOTE: If you wish to restrict the gift to a program or service, please do not be overly specific, as some programs change in response to current needs.
5. When your will and Relinquishment Form are complete, please notify Animal Samaritans in writing of your plans. It will help Animal Samaritans to better serve you if you include a copy of the Surrender Questionnaire with your letter. This will assure that Animal Samaritans has current information about your pet on file when he/she comes to us. Please direct your correspondence to: Director of Development, Animal Samaritans P. O. Box 513, Thousand Palms, CA 92276.
If you have questions or would like additional information on charitable giving by bequest, or on the adoption program, please call the Development Office at 760.601.3754.