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Plan ahead for pets’ well-being

By Eyal Lichtmann

Published 1:21 PST, Thu November 26, 2020

Happy endings often come after painful experiences. As people age or their home life changes, it can cause disruption in the lives of their companion animals.

Such was the case with Mr. Meows, whose idyllic life was upended when his person moved to a nursing facility. The grandchildren were unable to care for the cat, who is himself a senior at age 11, and they were grateful that the RAPS Animal Shelter undertook the task of rehoming him. 

Mr. Meows understandably had a rough go when he arrived at the Shelter. Our Animal Care Attendants spent a good deal of time with him to try to help him adjust to his temporary home at the Shelter and feel less scared about his surroundings. Still, going from king of the house in his former loving home to adjusting to Shelter life was not easy for this handsome fellow. Mr. Meows started to settle and was declared fit for adoption after his health check at the RAPS Animal Hospital.

Shelter staff knew it would take a special person to see the light in Mr. Meows through his shy and slightly fearful demeanor. Fortunately, the perfect person for Mr. Meows submitted an adoption application and came in for two meet-and-greets with this special boy and also spoke at length with our Shelter Manager to really make sure he could offer Mr. Meows the special home he so deserved.

His new dad, David, sent the following update: “Thought I’d let you know Mr. Meows has adapted well to his new home! He is pleased with the fresh carpet and tolerant of the messy bed. While he’s affectionate, a large part of Mr. Meows’ charm is his independence.”

Mr. Meows is just one of so many animals who require rehoming because their aging family moves into a care facility. 

In recent years, RAPS has put in place systems that encourage people to plan ahead for their pets in the event of a change of housing situation or the owner’s passing. We rehome pets or, if a cat is unlikely to find a forever home, we integrate them into the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, our “Kitty Club Med” in East Richmond. We also partner with lawyer Rebeka Breder, a Canadian leader in animal law, to educate estate planners and the general public about planning ahead for the well-being of pets in the process of estate preparations.

If you, or someone you know, needs guidance in planning for a pet in the event of a significant life change, contact us at

Pat Johnson is communications manager of the Regional Animal Protection Society.

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