The terrible effects of the Victorian bushfires, on humans and animals, prompted some anxious discussion in our household about what would happen to Penny in the event of our deaths.
I was relieved to hear from Cindy, at K9 Training, that Coldstream Animal Aid has a program through which people can will their pets to the shelter in the knowledge that the pet will always be owned by the shelter and looked after by a foster carer for its entire life. The shelter will visit each half-year to make sure the pet is happy and well-cared for. It's arranged through a bequest.
I read in The Age today that Lort Smith Animal Hospital has a similar scheme.
The article features an 86-year-old woman who wants to make sure her lifetime companion, Michael the cockatoo, is well looked after if he outlives her - which seems likely, seeing these birds can live more than a hundred years. (And I mustn't let myself think of the agony of any of these long-lived birds trapped in a tiny cage for an eternity.) Michael was to go to the Gumbuya Sanctuary, but he is too domesticated for that, so one of the sanctuary workers has guaranteed Michael a home. They are organising this through the Lort Smith scheme, which is called "Heart and Home".