Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Providing For Your Pet If, Heaven Forbid, Something Should Happen To You

Prism Publishing Inc. has released a new book Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs  that explains how pet owners can make sure their pets are properly taken care of, if circumstances prevent their owners from being able to do so themselves. The book outlines strategies for including pets in wills, setting up trusts to take care of companion animals, and less formal arrangements.

Though the book is serious, it is peppered with interesting factoids and information in a multitude of areas such as:

According to an Infogroup for the American Red Cross survey, 28% of United States adults responded that they would be very likely to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on their cat or dog.

Pet blood banks are being used with increased frequency and pet owners are increasingly donating their pet’s blood to blood banks. 

There are many centers that now perform dialysis for pets.  The initial set up with the catheter, first week of treatments, feeding tube placement etc. typically runs $2500-$3000. After this, each treatment costs $500 (the average patient requires 3 treatments per week).

Bitter custody disputes over pets are becoming more common and are often costly. A California couple's fight in 2000 over Gigi, their pointer-greyhound adopted from a shelter, cost more than $100,000 in legal fees. The three-day trial included testimony from animal experts, who were called on to determine which home would better suit Gigi. Eventually, the wife was granted full custody after a day in the life video of the dog was played in court.

Another indication of the growing status and importance of pets is the rise of pet-friendly travel outfitters. Instead of packing Fido off to a boarding kennel for a couple of weeks, more people are choosing to take him on vacation with them. One such company, Dog Paddling Adventures ( offers cross-country skiing, hiking and canoeing expeditions for pets and their owners. It claims its business has quadrupled since it opened in 2000.

In addition to the legal issues, the book also includes an extensive set of supplementary material that covers pets throughout history, including many of the rich and/or famous, expected lifespan of various types of pets, problems affecting exotic animals and a variety of surprising facts about pets.

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