Pet Legacy Program

We know that pets are not merely animal companions – they are members of the family. Provisions for your pets should be included in your will or living trust, just like you would include provisions if you were appointing a guardian to take care of your children.

We know that it is not always possible to make arrangements with family or friends to care for your pets in your absence, and we want you to know that you may designate through your will or trust that your animals be entrusted to the care of San Diego Humane Society.

Because of the generous support of our donors, San Diego Humane Society does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals. San Diego Humane Society takes great pride in placing every healthy or treatable animal in our care into loving homes, no matter how long it takes. We promise that we will do the very best we can to care for your pet(s).

How It Works

When your pet(s) are relinquished to San Diego Humane Society by your executor or trustee, we will evaluate your pets medically and behaviorally, then your pet(s) will be placed for adoption into a loving family.

How To Enroll


Have an estate planning attorney draw up a will or trust for you.

Provide your attorney with the Estate Planning with San Diego Humane Society in Mind brochure and the Pet Legacy Program brochure. San Diego Humane Society can provide you with a list of attorneys who are certified specialists in estate planning for your convenience.

In your will or trust, have your attorney designate family members or friends to take care of your animals in your place. Also include that if your chosen friends or family aren’t available to care for your pets upon your permanent incapacity or passing, San Diego Humane Society should take your animals.

The following is a sample provision for a will or trust concerning a pet:
I give any pet(s) that I may own at the time of my death to family member/friend. If he/she is unable to provide for my pet(s) I give my pet(s) to family member/friend. If he/she is unable to provide for my pets, I give my pet(s) to San Diego Humane Society. I authorize San Diego Humane Society to evaluate my pet(s) and determine in its exclusive judgment whether the animal is in a condition to be healthy and treatable. I authorize San Diego Humane Society to place my pet(s) in a loving home.


Name San Diego Humane Society as a beneficiary of your will, trust, life insurance, or retirement accounts in any amount. A legacy gift ensures the future of all homeless animals.


Complete the Pet Legacy Program Pet Biography Forms for each of your animals. These forms are available by contacting Nicole Roman at 619.243.3443, or [email protected]. The information you supply will help San Diego Humane Society provide your pet(s) with the best possible new home. This information can be updated at any time and we will follow up with you every two years.


Keep a copy of the completed Pet Biography Form with your will or trust and inform your executor or trustee of your enrollment in the program.

Legal Information

Taxpayer ID

Charitable Status
San Diego Humane Society meets the requirements of Section 2055(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, and, further is a tax-exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3). All contributions to San Diego Humane Society are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Please note that this program is for dogs, cats, and small animals only. This program is limited to four animals per family. More may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.