Be responsible in life and death.
As sure as the sun sets and rises every single day – we are all going to die.
This is a very blunt, candid, and honest article that EVERYONE who owns an animal NEEDS to read.
Do you know when your going to die??
Some of us will know ahead of time if we are afflicted with a life changing disease, some of us will grow old and die peacefully and some of us will be taken in a tragic accident – there is simply no getting around it and no matter how much we fight it, it WILL happen.
Noone likes to think about it, or plan for it, but in the event it DOES happen, are you prepared? Have you prepared your family with your last wishes? Is your paperwork in order? Is it in a place where your family/friends can find it in the event you die tomorrow? What about your animals????
Parrots are incredibly long lived and most will outlive us – what will become of them in the event you are suddenly gone? Many have said – “pfft, it won’t happen to me” and guess what..it did.
Don’t wait any longer, decide NOW, today, what you are going to do in the event you die tomorrow – and what if – you die at home – are you in regular contact with other people? If someone notices your absence for a day or two, will they come over? Does a close friend/family member have a key, JUST IN CASE. If you die in your home, with your parrot/s – they only have food to last them a few days – if your body isn’t found – they to will die. Yes, veryyyy morbid to think about – but it HAS happened.
If you are elderly, do you have specific plans for your bird and are those plans well known to your family/friends?
In the event of a death, family and friends are to grief stricken to worry about more than your passing – they won’t think about the critters in your life at that moment – hopefully they will feed/water until the next step – but what IS the next step???
If there is no one to step in, and property goes to probate – yes, animals are considered property – your pets could end up in a shelter somewhere until such time as it makes its way to court.
If you die suddenly and your family does not have nary a clue what to do with your pets, they will most likely be given away to someone – placed online for sale or to give away, sent to the local SPCA or to a rescue/sanctuary or if your blessed, your family will take over the care of the animals left behind.
Make a plan and let others know what that plan is.
Appoint someone the legal guardian of your bird – put this in writing with their contact information, and let them KNOW what your doing, don’t assume they will take possession of your bird!! Give them a copy of that contract, and keep a copy, and give a copy to your lawyer(if you have one)or to the executor of your estate(who you would have appointed when doing your will).
Keep this information CLOSE to the bird along with vet records/phone numbers and other contacts you feel are important. You can keep this in a small plastic container close to the birds cage – under it, beside it – some place where it will be SEEN in the event your passing is sudden – label it clearly. Let your vet know your plans as well, they can have it on file as well as emergency contact information.
We have had birds come to Birdline whose owner passed away at home, alone – the birds were alone for 2 weeks before they or the body was found as the owner was a bit of a recluse and didn’t have alot of friends or family – do you know someone living like that? Take some time to meet them, get to know them.
We have also had birds come to Birdline whose owner passed away in hosp and the family had no idea what to do with the flock of birds. No-one wanted them, and he never said a word about them in the weeks leading up to his death. Thankfully he had left an old vet receipt in a drawer – this was found a month after he died, they contacted the vet who passed our information onto them and they signed the birds over to us.
We also have had birds where the owner knew they were going to die. They contacted friends/family who did research and eventually found us – papers were signed that in the event of his/her passing, legal guardianship of said bird/s was given to Birdline. At the time of their passing(weeks before actually)the bird was placed with Birdline and allowed the owner the comfort of knowing his bird/s were safe, and gave the family one less thing to worry about during their grief.
Very recently an issue such as this showed up once again and the individual made the decision for placement for the bird/s in the event that they should die. There was hope that this illness would go into remission, but just in case it did not, arrangements were made, they wanted to ensure the bird/s would be cared for in the event that they could no longer do so.
Sadly, this individual just passed away, and our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends on the passing of this beloved family member. Having placement secured for their bird/s left behind now allows this family to grieve and mourn their loss without the added stress or worry about the bird/s.
Young or old, weak or strong – we are all going to find our way to that Rainbow Bridge….
As your last gift to your bird/s, ensure they will be taken care of and have a safe place to go – its only fair to them, and it is your responsibility…