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Securing a Safe Future for Your Pet
A loving adopter provides lifetime security for his treasured feline companion through North Shore Animal League America’s Safe Haven Surviving Pet Care Program
Eight years ago, Jules Drucker faced the inevitable situation that all animal lovers dread: his beloved cat Alii passed away unexpectedly. Sadly, Alii’s death came just six months after Jules had lost his wife, Eleanor, to cancer. Alii’s presence had been a blessing in his grief, which made the cat’s passing even more painful.
“Jules was heartbroken and now totally alone in his house,” explains Janet Crucet, Jules’ stepdaughter. Janet knew the best solution was to find her stepfather a new companion, and she knew immediately where to turn.
On Sept. 2, 2004, Janet brought Jules to North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, where he adopted an orange and white tabby. Jules named his new cat “Dr. Phil” (pictured right) in honor of his wife, because Eleanor’s oncologist was Dr. Philip Schulman, and she also was a huge fan of TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw.
Shortly before Jules adopted Dr. Phil, the sweet cat had been saved by Animal League America during one of our emergency rescue missions—this time in Florida, when Hurricane Charley wreaked havoc all across the state in August 2004. One of Animal League America’s Mobile Rescue Units brought Dr. Phil and many other animals left homeless by the storm to the safety of our Port Washington, NY, campus.
The goal at Animal League America is to find a permanent, loving home for every animal that enters our doors—and that’s just what happened for Dr. Phil, who quickly bonded with his new owner. The feeling was mutual, recalls Janet: “Jules’ favorite spot was sitting in his recliner in the den, and Phil's favorite spot was sitting on Jules’ lap!”
When Jules’ health began to decline, Janet found an assisted living facility near her home that would allow Jules to move in with his treasured animal. But over the last two years, Jules’ dementia grew progressively worse; although he still loved Dr. Phil, he could no longer remember his name and was unable to provide him with the care he needed.
Thankfully, when Jules adopted Dr. Phil in 2004, he enrolled him in North Shore Animal League America’s Safe Haven Surviving Pet Care Program, which is open to pet owners all across the country.
“People are understandably concerned about what will happen to their beloved companion animals when they can no longer take care of them due to illness or death,” explains Eric Lieberman, Senior Manager of Planned Giving at Animal League America. Not everyone has family members or friends who can provide a new home for these orphaned pets, and so these animals run the risk of ending up in a municipal shelter if no one claims them. “Adult animals are less likely than puppies or kittens to find an adopter at traditional shelters,” says Eric, “so they are at high risk of being euthanized.”
With the Safe Haven Program, owners can be assured that their animals will be cared for at Animal League America’s state-of-the-art facilities, where they are given food, shelter, affection and medical attention until we can find them a new family.
“Caring pet owners can become part of our program through a will, trust, life insurance policy or retirement plan,” says Eric. “It’s a simple process that provides peace of mind.” In addition, provisions can be made for surviving pets to be enrolled by the owner’s estate representative or other person with power of attorney, even after the owner has passed away.
Janet is grateful that Jules and her mother had the foresight to make arrangements for Dr. Phil’s care. “Although Jules and I were both sad to say goodbye,” says Janet, “I am so thankful that Dr. Phil is safe and well cared for at the Animal League.”
To find out how you can safeguard your pet by enrolling in our lifesaving program, contact Eric Lieberman at (516) 883-7900 ext.354, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.animalleague.org/safehaven.
Adopt Dr. Phil
Dr. Phil, who is about 10 years old, is a very sweet cat who is waiting for his new home. He loves sitting in laps and being petted. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting Dr. Phil, please contact Christina Travalja at ChristinaT@animalleague.org, or call (516) 883-7900, Ext. 453.