November 02, 2021
What Happens To My Dog If I Die? | Dog Edition #41

It's the difficult question probably few have asked, but without an answer, many dogs end up in a shelter or worse. So, what happens to your dog if you die?

No-one wants to think about it, but if you die unexpectedly, have you planned what will happen to your dog? Many people assume friends or family will take it in, but unless you have explicitly had that conversation, your wishes may not be granted.

What happens to your dog if you die?

Leona Helmsley, the billionaire hotel magnate knew exactly what she wanted for her Maltese Trouble when she shuffled off. She bequeathed millions of dollars to care for her beloved pooch to ensure her ‘Princess’ was looked after for the rest of her days.

But not everyone is so prepared or so wealthy, and if an owner dies without a plan for what should happen to their furry best friend, the dog can end up in a shelter or worse.

How can you make sure that does not happen? Would you leave your dog to live out its days in an extraordinary sanctuary established just for orphaned dogs? Have you spoken to family or friends about caring for your pooch, if the worst should happen? Or have you thought about including money or instructions in your Will so your dog is looked after for years to come? In this episode we explore the many options to make sure dogs left behind, are looked after.

About Rita Lynd, The Hannah Foundation

Rita Lynd is a wealth of knowledge on dog behaviour. In 1996 Rita established High Shangrila Dog Training School where she helped many dog owners train and care for their K9 companions. She retired from dog training in 2016 but a true advocate for dogs over the years Rita has assisted with re-homing, staff training and supported new dog owners. In 2010 Rita established the Hannah Foundation Inc. after Hannah’s devoted owner unexpectedly died at his home. It was four days before the pair was discovered and Rita made the nine year-old-Boxer a promise to create a Sanctuary for orphaned dogs.

The Hannah Foundation


About Kim Bressant-Kibwe, attorney

Kim Bressant-Kibwe is a trusts and estates attorney, formerly with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She has been a keen advocate over the years for pet owner to have an estate plan and a disaster plan for their pets to ensure they don’t end up in animal shelters if something should happen to their owners and no one is available to take care of their pets.