Planning for Your Pets through Pet Guardianship

Have you made arrangements for your pet’s future care should you become unable to provide it yourself? Planning for this possibility ahead of time is one of the greatest acts of devotion we can show our pets. If you don’t have a friend, relative, or neighbor who can commit to your pet(s) with 100% certainty, the Pet Guardianship Program at Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is here for you, or can be your back-up plan. We will ensure that, should you become incapacitated or pass away, your pets will receive expert medical care, enrichment, and companionship while they are with us, with the ultimate goal of placing them in a loving home where they will thrive. You can enjoy enormous peace of mind, knowing you have this critical plan in place.

By filling out a simple biography form (including medical history) for each pet, you save those closest to you from having to guess their precise needs. Regardless of their age or health, once they are enrolled in Pet Guardianship, HSSV commits to your pets as an absolute priority. In return, you commit to HSSV by naming us as a beneficiary in your will or trust, life insurance policy, IRA, or similar account. This unique partnership also includes the opportunity for you to direct your future meaningful gift towards an area of our work that most inspires you.

Please note: This program is intended to plan for a pet in the event of their owner’s passing or incapacitation. If you are looking for help finding a home for your pet now, please visit our Pet Surrender page.

“HSSV’s Pet Guardianship Program is a lifesaver, in more ways than one. I’m in good company with others who love their pets, but know that there’s no one to take care of them after we’re gone. Making sure my two cats would be in good hands was weighing on me. HSSV’s Pet Guardianship Program lets me support an organization that helps animals, and provides a straightforward plan for their care when I’m no longer around to do it. It’s such a relief to be part of this program. Thanks, HSSV.” – Karen G.


Frequently Asked Questions


The Steps for Enrollment in Pet Guardianship are Easy

1. If you haven’t already, include HSSV as a beneficiary in your will or trust, or as a beneficiary of your life insurance, IRA, 401K, Donor Advised Fund, or other account.

2. Specify in your will or trust that your pet is to be entrusted to HSSV at your death. You may wish to write the general statement: “At the time of my death, I give my pet(s) to Humane Society Silicon Valley’s Pet Guardianship Program.”

3. Complete a Cat Biography or Dog Biography for each pet you wish to enroll. If any of your pets are bonded, please complete a Companionship Supplement Form. If you prefer to receive printed copies of the forms to return via mail, please contact Bridget Keenan at 408-942-3006 or

4. Mail or email a copy of all documentation to us:

Humane Society Silicon Valley
Attn: Bridget Keenan
901 Ames Ave.
Milpitas, CA 95035

5. Designate a friend, relative, neighbor, or executor of your estate to bring your pet to HSSV if necessary. Instruct them to call HSSV at 408-262-2133 ext. 110 in advance to notify us that they will be bringing in a Pet Guardianship pet so we are prepared for their arrival.

6. We will mail a confirmation of your Pet Guardianship enrollment. Please keep a copy of your confirmation with your will or trust.

7. Keep us updated if your pet’s health changes, if you change your veterinarian, or if your pet passes away.


Start Giving Today!

Work right alongside us to start saving lives TODAY by giving a lifesaving gift right now! You will be a hero for our animals, making a huge impact on four-legged and two-legged lives throughout your community.