Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

Don't Forget Your Pet When Planning Ahead

Man with his Dog

Our pets share as much of our lives as any family member and to many pet owners, they’re just as important. Our ‘best friends’ are there for us every day, offering unconditional love. What happens to them if we’re not there?

Attorney General Mark Speakman and Member for Ku-ring-gai, Alister Henskens SC, are launching a pet emergency card to prevent furry, feathered and finned friends from being left home alone when their owner dies or is seriously ill or injured.

“My labs Monty and Ralph are much loved members of my family. Most pet owners in Ku-ring-gai feel the same way about their pets.. The pet emergency card will bring peace of mind to pet owners who now have a way of ensuring others know to look after their pets in case of serious injury or death,” said Mr Speakman.

Mr Henskens said, “It’s heartbreaking to think of pets with no one to care for them if owners are suddenly taken ill or pass away. The conveniently sized card is designed to fit in your wallet. There is space on the card for a pet owner to write their pet’s name and the details of who to contact in case of emergency.”

The law already allows pet owners to make arrangements for the ongoing care of their animal companions after life events both unexpected and inevitable.

Owners can make provision for pets in their will, power of attorney and enduring guardianship documents. NSW Trustee & Guardian prepares these documents for thousands of people in NSW each year.

NSW Trustee & Guardian can help get you started on your planning ahead documents, and if an accident or illness leaves you without the capacity to make decisions, your appointed attorney can look after your financial affairs while your enduring guardian will make medical and lifestyle decisions for you.

“Importantly, your appointed attorney is allowed to enter your home and assist your pets if you are unwell,” said Mr Henskens.

Emergency pet cards are free and can be ordered through the NSW Trustee & Guardian website To prepare a will, power of attorney or enduring guardianship documents, call 1300 364 103 or visit