Would your animals be cared for if something happened to you? Because You Love Them helps ensure they will.
Envision the following scenario, suggests Gene Tresenfeld. He crosses the street one day, when he gets hit by a speeding pickup truck. “They take me to hospital, where I am in a coma for eight days.” Gene recovers, but his animal companions aren’t so fortunate because there is no one to care for them while he’s in hospital. “When I finally get home, my dog Liebe is just lying there. She can’t stand up to give me her usual greeting. I know I’ll never forget her look of ‘Daddy, where were you?’ I rush her to the vet, but they aren’t able to save her. At some point, my cat T-bien has gone out the doggie door to look for food. I never see her again.”
Although it never actually happened, this heartbreaking story is what motivated Gene to help make sure nobody, including himself, has to go through such an experience in real life. The love he has for Liebe and T-bien inspired him to found Because You Love Them (becauseyoulovethem.com), a service that ensures companion animals will be cared for if or when their guardians are not able to do so.
Here’s how it works. First, you choose several trusted friends, relatives or neighbors who agree to care for your animals in case of a personal emergency. Then subscribe to Because You Love Them and provide them with the names and contact numbers of these caregivers. “You’ll also need to name an ICE (In Case of Emergency). This is someone who needs to know if something has happened to the animal parent and can help coordinate the animals care.”
You get two ID cards, one to keep on your person and the other in the glove compartment of your vehicle.
“If something happens to you, emergency personnel will see the ID card and call our toll-free 24/7 hotline,” explains Gene. “We pull up your profile and right away start contacting every designated caregiver on the list. If we don’t connect with anyone the first time, the software will keep on sending us prompts to try again. We might leave messages, but our job is not done until we have actually spoken with someone. The software keeps each incident ‘open’ until we’ve checked off that we have spoken to both a caregiver and the ICE.” By covering all the bases this way, the company ensures someone knows of your situation and that your animal will get help.
For every 100 standard service subscriptions, Because You Love Them also donates four sets of animal oxygen masks to fire departments. “First responders operate under tight budgets and even if they could afford to buy masks that fit animals, many communities forbid them from spending money on non-humans,” says Gene.
“Every day I tell Liebe and T-bien, ‘Girls, I’m so grateful for our nice little family,’” he adds. “Now I can provide peace of mind to other animal p