The Massachusetts Pet Trust Law An Act Relative to Trusts for the Care of Animals
Mass. Laws ch. 203,  3C- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted legislation effective April 2011 that enables pet trusts. This law is to provide for the care of your pet/s should YOU become incapacitated or die.

Have you ever asked yourself? Who will care for my pet/s when I’m gone or if I can no longer care for them? Thanks to the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling’s Safe Shelter Surviving Pet Care Plan you no longer have to worry about what will happen to your pet/s should you no longer be able to care for them AND there won’t be a burden to find family or friends to be their caretaker either.

Because pets are living longer and are such an important part of our lives we should all be prepared to provide for their care IF AND WHEN we are no longer able to do so. Under the new law, pet owners can create ENFORCEABLE trusts to provide for their beloved pet/s, specify both a trustee for the trust and a caretaker (in this case you would designate Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, MA) for the pet/s AND be assured that their wishes and directions be carried out.

OUR program is very unique…and there are very few shelters NATIONALLY that have such programs and the shelters that DO offer these programs charge $10,000-$25,000 PER PET -ONLY to put your beloved pet in a cage for the rest of his/her life.

WE, at the shelter, would never want OUR own personal pet/s to live the rest of their lives in a cage and we’re sure you wouldn’t want this either. While in our care, your pet/s have clean, happy, bright, roomy kennels at our comfortable shelter.

Our shelter is a place where all the staff knows YOUR pet/s – by their NAME NOT by a number…

For our Canine Friends, they have their very own kennels with indoor/outdoor runs so they can exercise or simply lounge in the sun. The kennel offers central A/C, radiant heated floors and a woodstove for extra warm feels like home comfort PLUS each pen offers a comfy Kuranda bed and all the toys and treats he/she could ever want! Our large volunteer brigade loves to walk our furry friends for extra attention and exercise just like they’d get at home!

For Our Feline Friends… multi level Kitty Condo’s with portholes allow your furry feline friend/s to stretch out and go side to side or up and down with a resting perch in each pen. Their very own soft fuzzy bed and lots of catnip and toys to play with. Our amazing volunteers are often found brushing and playing with and taking the kitties out for extra exercise to run and play free in our immaculate Kitty Room.

Beautiful cat room offers large spacious pens for our feline friends

Isn’t this what YOU’D wish for your pet/s? A bright, home like, loving, safe environment with lots of staff and volunteers to provide lots of love and care…

Our Safe Shelter Surviving Pet Care Plan offers your beloved pet a chance at a new loving home…in a home, with a family for all the years they have to enjoy such a life!

The plan is simple. Complete one enrollment form for each of your pets, which we will keep on file here at the shelter. If you are no longer able to care for your pets or if they should outlive you or you become ill and can no longer care for them, we will immediately finalize arrangements with your representative, family member, trustee/executor to have your pets transported to our facilities (transportation costs are separate and are your responsibility).

* This program is available to your pet/s regardless of where you reside however, you must make prior arrangements to have your pet/s transported to our facility. We are happy to assist in suggestions for transportation if needed.

Here at our shelter in Sterling, MA – we will provide food, shelter, and lots of love and attention as well as state-of-the-art medical care for your pet/s until they can be adopted into new loving homes. Our on site veterinary clinic is staffed by a full time veterinarian and three veterinary technicians that make daily and weekly rounds checking on all our shelter residents and providing them with any medical care they may need!

Essentially YOUR pet/s will reside with us under our care, until they find a loving new home?whether they are with us for days, weeks or months. They will be safe and well cared for while at our shelter. It is our goal to ensure they NOT live out their lives in a kennel or cage…but to have the opportunity to find a new and loving family who will care for them for the rest of their lives.

To ensure that our shelter does not have to divert funds from our other life- saving programs, we require a modest enrollment fee $1,500 for your first pet, $1,000 per additional pet. There are NO additional fees or costs and this fee will cover all medical care, housing and requirements your pet/s will need until he/she is found a loving new home…

You are also more than welcome to donate or bequest additional funds to support our programs and pets – as our organization is not funded by the city/state or any national organizations. 100% of how our organization runs is through adoption/surrender fees, occasional grants, fundraisers and events.

Pets with special medical needs MAY be accepted in to the program and would be determined on a case by case basis after consulting with our on-site veterinarian – you would need to discuss their condition/s with our Director prior to enrollment and the program cost may be increased depending on the medical condition. Please NOTE: Due to the liability, We CAN NOT accept animals that are aggressive or have a bite history.

No money is required up front to enroll but is instead paid when your pet/s are ready to be taken into our care. The enrollment fee can be paid through a bequest in your will or trust document, by making the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, MA a beneficiary of a life insurance or retirement policy, or an up-front payment (if you so choose).

3 Easy steps Enroll your Pet/s in the
Safe Shelter Surviving Pet Care Program

Don’t wait until it’s too late – planning now will provide you with a piece of mind knowing your pets are in good hands with our Shelter and Staff. What’s best about this program are there are NO UP FRONT fees…when you feel you need our help…we will be there for you and your pet/s.

  1. Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to put the legal documentation for the pet trust in place.If you don’t have an attorney or would simply like to consult with an attorney familiar with both OUR organization and the new MA Pet Trust laws – Our shelter recommends:
    Michael D. DellaMonaca – Attorney and Counselor at Law
    982 South Street
    Fitchburg, MA 01420
    phone (978) 342-1914  fax (978) 860-2935 
  2. Print, complete and mail the following documents:

3. Mail completed documents with a copy of your completed executed pet trust documentation to us at:

Animal Shelter Inc.
c/o Safe Shelter Surviving Pet Care Program

17 Laurelwood Road
Sterling, MA 01564

OR if you would prefer we can mail/email or fax the entire package directly to you – simply email and in the


include how you?d like us to send the information and include your contact information, mailing address, email or fax # or call us at 978-422-8585 and ask for the Safe Shelter Care package again please provide all your contact information.

Once we receive your documents we’ll be happy to contact you so you know we’ve received them.

***You should always check with your attorney or estate/financial advisor, before signing any document, to help you decide what is best for your personal situation. Please note: to due obvious liability issues, we are unable to accept any pet/s that are aggressive or have terminal or severe medical conditions. If you have any concerns about this policy please contact us for further details and criteria.