The Blue Cross animal charity alone receives an average of four pets per week at its rehoming centers due to the break up of their pet parents. Factoring in all the local animal shelters and other animal associations, that average is likely much higher. Due to this steady influx, the Blue Cross has rolled out their "Pet Nup" form, a prenuptial agreement to help settle who the pets will live with in the event that the pet parents split up.
The organization has joined a team of lawyers to draw up the official paperwork and made the official document available for public use. Within the agreement, pet parents can decide on responsibilities in their pet relationship as well to make sure having a new pet is actually right for them.
The organization has also found through research that arguing over the pets enhances the emotional turmoil that comes along with break ups. While it may be tough to split gadgets or electronics, a pet is not a material good. It is a living thing akin to a child and not so easily split. Many of the surrenders that come to the Blue Cross from break ups are returned to them without the other partners' knowledge, leading to further heartbreak and argument between the pair.
The agreement also allows couples to sort out vital factors to consider when owning a new cat or dog such as how many walks it should take a day, frequency of grooming, vet checkups, how long the pet should be left alone and what to do with it on holidays. While many pet owners discuss these things beforehand, so many more do not before adoption and it causes stress on the relationship.