The Co-op has created a card for people to carry in their wallets which alerts the authorities to the existence of a pet which may be left home alone if its owner passes away unexpectedly, or is taken to the hospital.
Co-op Funeralcare’s ‘Pet Cards’ - which are akin to organ donor cards or those alerting ambulance crews to a person’s blood type - will be distributed for free in local communities.
Bridgette Perks, a funeral arranger for Co-op Funeralcare from Doncaster, who came up with the idea after discovering that a lot of her clients were worried about what would happen to their pets if ever they didn’t come home, said: “When speaking to members of the local community, I came to realise that I wasn’t the only one who’d ever considered who would look after my pet if anything ever happened to me.
“As such, I thought the ‘Pet Card’ was the perfect solution to put minds at rest and I’m thrilled that they’re being distributed nationwide.”
The card asks whoever finds the card to contact emergency contacts listed on the back and ask for them to make sure their pet is looked after. It says: "My pet is home alone. If I become ill, injured, or in the event of my death, please contact the people named on the reverse side of this card to care for my pet. Thank you."
“I thought the Pet Card was the perfect solution to put minds at rest and I’m thrilled that they’re being distributed nationwide.’’
Helen Chandler, head of funeral operations, added: “At Co-op Funeralcare, we always support our colleagues in any way we can so when we heard about Bridgette’s great idea there was no doubt that we wanted to roll it out in our funeral homes across the UK.
“We’re always keen to find new ways to support the local community and the introduction of ‘Pet Cards’ will hopefully offer peace of mind to those who need it.’’
David Hampson, head of pet insurance at the Co-op, added: “Pets are often considered to be one of the family and the thought of them being left alone can be concerning, to say the least. Carrying a ‘Pet Card’ is a simple solution to ensure any pet is made aware of if anything were to happen to the owner.
“We want to help customers to take responsibility for their pet’s well-being and this is a great way to ensure your pet will get the care it needs in the case of an emergency.’’