Pet Stewardship

How to Care for Pets in Your Will


Most of us assume that we will outlive our pets. But what if you are the one who becomes ill or incapacitated, or dies first? Do you have a plan that will ensure that your surviving companion animals receive the care, attention and accommodations they deserve?

The Ottawa Humane Society Pet Stewardship Program ensures that upon your death, your companion animals are adopted into loving homes that are best suited to their needs.

The program operates as follows:

  • Owner signs an agreement with the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS)
  • Owner completes care information on the animal
  • Bequeaths animal to OHS
  • Upon death of the owner, OHS takes immediate custody of the animal and places it in foster care, estate transfer funds to OHS
  • OHS agrees not to euthanize except in cases of disease or severe behaviour problems
  • Permanent caregiver is found
  • Monitoring visits are arranged
  • Medical care is arranged for the lifetime of animal
  • OHS retains the right to remove the animal from the caregiver

How to Register

  • Contact the manager of legacy giving at the Ottawa Humane Society at
  • Review the Pet Stewardship Agreement with a legal professional and/or financial advisor.
  • Sign the Pet Stewardship Agreement
  • Bequeath your companion animal(s) to the Ottawa Humane Society in your will.
  • Arrange for a future payment to the Ottawa Humane Society in your will (see below), or with a payment through a life insurance policy, a trust, or make an outright payment at the time you enroll your companion animal.
  • Complete a Pet Stewardship Program cat information form or dog information form, as well as a medical consent form for each companion animal you own and return it to us, along with a digital photograph of the companion animal. We will also ask you to update this on an annual basis.
  • Send a copy of the section in your will that refers to the Pet Stewardship Program to:

Ottawa Humane Society
Pet Stewardship Program
245 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa Ontario, K2E 1A6

Pet Stewardship Resources

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to discuss a gifting option, please send an email.