NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- An American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals survey indicates only 17 percent of U.S. pet owners legally provide for a pet if its owner dies.
The poll of more than 1,000 pet guardians nationwide, showed most do some planning, but few take the necessary steps recognized by law to ensure their pets are taken care of when they pass away.
Seventeen percent took legal action -- a will, a trust fund or some other legal document -- for the care of their pets when they die. Dog owners, at 17 percent, were more likely to have taken legal steps than were cat owners, at 11 percent.
Even among the 42 percent of cat and dog owners who completed a will for themselves, only 18 percent included provisions for their pets.
Fifty-three percent of estate planning for the care of pets involved speaking to a friend or family member about caring for a pet, followed by 39 percent creating a pet portfolio containing the information needed for someone else to care for a pet.
The ASPCA recently collaborated with LegalZoom to raise awareness of the Pet Protection Agreement, which allows pet owners to establish continuing care for all of their animals when they are not able to care for them.
No further survey details were provided.