pet careBideawee is the NYC animal rescue organization with over a century of service with additional locations in Wantagh and Westhampton. Now that pets are referred to as the new children, protecting our fur babies’ well-being is a priority. What if you become ill or unable to care for your beloved companion?

Loving Legacy is a solution for pet parents who want to ensure their four-legged loved ones get the best possible care. We had the opportunity to chat with Jennifer Goodwin, VP of Business Development and Dolores Swirin-Yao, President and CEO of Bideawee about this essential program and how to prioritize the protection of our pets.

Our pets are our fur babies. How can we ensure they are cared for if we get sick?

As loving and committed pet owners, we know that pets are such an important part of our lives. Just like we plan for our children and for our assets, we need to know that our pets will be cared for if we become incapacitated or predecease them. Bideawee’s Loving Legacy is a great option. To fill the need for caring for our pets if we can no longer to so, Bideawee created Loving Legacy as a unique option for planning for your pet’s care. Loving Legacy is a special program that provides pet owners with peace of mind by pledging to step in and care for beloved dogs and cats when the owner pre-deceases them or is rendered incapacitated. Based on our research, we believe it is the only program of its kind.

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Many elders adopt pets for companionship, exercise, and other benefits that support their overall well-being. How is this type of relationship an advantage for both of them? And what risks do pets face when adopted by seniors?

For seniors, pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity and stimulate curiosity and learning. So many sweet, loving pets are in need of homes and seniors can often provide a gentle, comforting home for a pet.  As far as risks go, there are generally few as long as a good match is made. If a senior is more sedentary, it’s important to match them with an animal that is equally as low-key. As with any adoption, it’s also important to consider who will care for a pet in the event that the adopter cannot. As long as these questions are thought through and discussed, adopting a pet as a senior can be a wonderful, beneficial experience for both people and pets.

When a pet owner gets ill or passes away, what can happen to their beloved pets? How has Bideawee helped these pet owners and fur babies in the past?

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It’s important to understand that pets that are not provided for and are not wanted by relatives are often turned out of the house, surrendered to municipal animal control or even euthanized. If you have a pet, you understand that this is a terrible fate for an animal that provided you with so much love and loyalty.

Tell us more about how the Loving Legacy service works and what it can offer to pets and their owners.

Enrollment in the program ensures customized tender loving care. Bideawee has been around for 114 years! And we work with our vast network of devoted employees, volunteers and supporters to find suitable homes, and we will cover a lifetime of routine medical needs. Potential guardians are carefully screened and reviewed so that the new home, level of commitment and lifestyle meet our standards of excellence. And when the time comes, your beloved pet will be laid to rest at our Pet Memorial Park.

One of our specialties at Bideawee is what we call Matchmaking – finding the right fit between animal and family. And with Loving Legacy, we will find the right fit for your pet.

Also, we ask the owner to fill out a preference form and update it each year, with information about the pet’s favorite foods, behavior, sleeping habits, and other information that will help the pet get comfortable quickly with its new family.

Bideawee has been respected in Manhattan and Long Island for decades for its work to save many cats and dogs. Can people throughout the United States take advantage of Loving Legacy and how does it work?

Yes, we get calls from people all over the country about Loving Legacy. Even though Bideawee is based in New York City and Long Island, the Loving Legacy program is available to pet parents nationwide.

You are devoted to helping animals. Have you any of your own? What are their names and how do they make your life better?

Jennifer – I have a little 11-year-old dog named Bruce. He brings love and laughs to each member of our family.

Dolores – We adopted a Bideawee puppy, Tami, in the spring of 2016, and a second Bideawee dog, Simba, who is a little over a year old, in the fall of 2016. We recently added a Bideawee foster cat, Wall-E, who is a companion to my elderly mother who lives with us. Both dogs bring love and play to our family and teach responsibility to my pre-teen sons. Wall-E provides wonderful companionship to my mom.

What advice can you give to pet owners to ensure their fur babies are safe, no matter what happens to them?

Make a plan now. We recommend that people consult with their own attorneys and financial advisors when making their plans.

Let us know how animal lovers can help and support Bideawee. Are there any charitable events coming up?

Please visit lovepets.org to learn all about Bideawee. You can donate right there online. Our annual Bideawee Ball is on May 22nd at The Pierre. We even sell canine tickets for well-behaved dogs!

From proper grooming to future pet care, Americans are dedicated protecting their fur babies. Recently Business Insider indicated pet care is a recession-proof industry, proving there really is no price on love. To find out more about Loving Legacy, pet adoption, and more, visit the Bideawee website.