I have a friend that her son has power of attorney she has ended up in the hospital she is an older lady but she does have a 12-year-old Yorky dog that has been her constant companion for years I have just discovered he is trying to re-home the dog without the mother’s permission. He has never cared for the dog, he doesn’t like the dog and I’m sure he sees it as a perfect opportunity to get rid of the dog. I need to know if he is able to do this without the mother’s permission or does having power of attorney give him the right to do this?

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There is no single POA document. Although one can buy POA forms, even those forms can be added to or altered. One can also have an attorney draw up a very specific and detailed POA that contains explicit terms and conditions limiting the powers conferred upon the executor of the POA. The son could have unlimited powers to care for her and her property if she is hospitalized.

That being said, whether the son is legally within his rights to deal with the dog is a small matter as it is unlikely that his mother--or anyone else--will bring the matter to court. The real question is whether it is essential to the well-being of your friend to have her companion there to welcome her home and whether she will be able to care for the dog. There is also a consideration about whether she will be coming home. It is quite possible that the son knows more about her situation than you do. Ask questions, politely, focus on your concerns for your friend's well-being and on your willingness to help in any way.

It is a mistake to immediately question the motives of a younger caretaker. Most of the time the children of an aging parent mean well and try very hard to do what is best for their parent. You need to be straight-forward and completely honest both with him and with his mother. There may be some difficult choices to make and it will not help if there are not clear communications and understandings.

When my husband's mother was in her last illness we spent some time at her residence cleaning and sorting things. Many of her neighbors came to us and revealed that they were very concerned about her and that they thought she should have been placed in residential care years earlier. These were the same neighbors who had, for years, been assuring his mother that they would help her in any way and that they were glad to help out. During those years, when we would try to talk to her about assisted living or other care options she would absolutely refuse, citing the helpfulness of the neighbors and their assurances that they loved helping her out. If they had been more honest with her and with us about what they were really willing to do and had been more honest about her capabilities she may have been willing to make changes that would have made her last years more pleasant for all of us.

The best way you can help your friend is to work with her chosen POA, not question his motives without understanding what is behind his actions. For all you know, there may even be written instructions for him to re-home the dog if there is doubt that she can take care of it.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to LittleOrchid

No it does not.

Can you take her dog until she gets home?
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
elaineSC Feb 24, 2020
Good question to the OP. The patient may end up in rehab and her son may be the one seeing about everything along with his own responsibilities. We all know how difficult this can get. Having POA is not the issue here. The issue is how much can this fella take on? The OP is nosing in as a “friend” and we don’t have the son’s side of this. Good answer from you. I think you see through this too.
No it does not!

How long is your friend likely to remain in the hospital? There are boarding kennels where the dog could stay, or perhaps your friend knows a fellow Yorkie enthusiast who could help?

Speak to the son and ask him directly how he plans to have the dog looked after TEMPORARILY!!!

How did it come to light that he's been trying to get rid of it, though?

He can't be blamed for not liking dogs but obviously he needs to think again. What has he told your friend about it?

I love the idea of your offering to take the dog in, if you possibly can. Yorkies are poppets, and this one must be very worried about what's happening, poor little thing.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Countrymouse

Here is the problem. When someone is elderly and sick or has Alzheimer's or dementia they are unable to properly care for an animal. My mother had five cats. The worse she got, the worse the house got. She refused to clean the cat pans and they were peeing and pooping all over the house. Some of them were indoor cats and she started letting them out. They lost a significant amount of weight. She started forgetting to feed them. She would often feed them the food that I cooked and brought to her instead of eating it herself.
I know that what he did might sound cruel but it is probably best for the animal. I sent all of the Cats to the Humane Society and my mother is fine. She is now in a assisted living and I had to tear up the carpeting in a two-level home because it was destroyed. I got her a fake cat that looks real and she loves it.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Sadexecutor
greeneracres Feb 24, 2020
We had a similar situation. My father-in-law had kept two dogs through most of his life. When one dog died he'd get another. The last dog that he got would have been a challenge for a younger man. It was not only not housebroken, but appeared to take glee in making deposits within sight but just out of reach. The older dog that had previously been housebroken joined the new dog in making the house their toilet. My husband was going over several times a week after work and on weekends and cleaning up pee and poo everywhere. It wasn't a good scene for anyone - not my father-in-law - not the dogs - and not my husband. The father-in-law's house had gotten so grim that when my husband got home he'd peel off his clothes to the skin and put them directly in the wash and head straight to the shower. My sister-in-law who lives in another state refused to see it as a problem, yet she insisted that my husband have it all cleaned up before she came for visits. So that's where it stood for a couple of years. Then came an illness and hospitalization and rehab. We boarded the dogs for two months until it was clear that my father-in-law was not going to be able to live independently. He came and lived with us for what turned out to be just over a year. We had a caregiver part of the day while we worked to fix lunch and take care of bathing. If we had let the dogs come to our house it would have become the new pee and poop house. Yes he loved his dogs but was simply not able to care for them. Yes we loved him but we could not take on that level of additional challenge and properly care for him or ourselves. We took holy hell from the sister-in-law and his well meaning friends over not keeping the dogs, yet none of them stepped up and offered to keep them or come in and help out.
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These situations are so hard.  We use a doggy daycare who also does animal rescue and many many times when someone is elderly and can no longer take care of themselves, let alone a pet, the pet gets handed off to the pound.  So so sad.  Devastating for the owner and the pet.  I am going to argue the point for both sides here without having more detail. Maybe your friend is sicker than you know and her son who is POA is doing his best to manage his moms care and the dog is more than he can deal with at the moment.   Maybe he has been told that even if his mom pulls through whatever this is, that she will need to go to a nursing home afterwards. Navigating all of that is a lot.   Which brings me to ask if you could possibly care for the Yorky until you know what's what with your friend.   Even if your friend ends up in a nursing home, could you adopt the little dog and take it to visit her?  It is a lot to ask, but maybe the son is allergic or not an animal lover or maybe he works long hours and can't take on a dog...I don't know.  The dog may be very low on his list of priorities right now and this would be a good way for you to help your friend.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Jamesj

I am a nurse and have worked as a homecare nurse in homes where I have seen some incidents where the pet was a hazard. Pets that walk near or under owners feet are a fall risk. I have seen pets that for some unknown reason, walks around licking the owners legs, even when she is up walking. I have seen elderly working in the kitchen and around the stove with pets under foot. I have treated on several occasions, for a long period of time, months, wounds caused by a pets claws or nibbed with a tooth accidently. I would definitely need more information before answering this question.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JaniceW

I have owned a dog every day of my life. My sister(dementia) loved her dog and was fortunate to have it in Assisted living. As her dementia increased, staff told me of her meanness to her dog. I was shocked...she loved this dog, her "child." I
visited more often and witnessed the meanness in various ways. I took her dog
"for grooming" and next day told her he had died. We both cried for different reasons. I found a local family who had lost their dog to a Coyote incident. They
came with their 4 children, grammar school-HS, and it was love @ first sight.
"Gizmo" never event looked back as he hopped into their car. It was a win-win
and my sister forgot about him. Dementia is as sad as losing a pet.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Compassionate5
XenaJada Feb 24, 2020
Sort of similar story-
My relative had dementia and was in MC. She was allowed to have her poodle there. She was a bit rough with him in the afternoons when she and ALL the residents would begin to sundown.

She would forget to take him outside. He was a good little guy who was housebroken, but good Lord, even the best dog can only hold it for so many HOURS. He made several messes because she could not remember to take him outside. I visited one afternoon and he was giving me all kinds of signals to take him outside and she would not let me! She had him on a leash and kept yelling at me and yanking him back when I'd try to take him. Somehow I managed to distract her and get him outside.

One patient at MC tried to take him from her and they got into a tussle over the dog. The patient pushed down my aunt. That sweet dog was directly and indirectly the reason for several of her falls which ended up landing her in the NH.

My aunt is now deceased and her poodle lives a life of leisure with one of my cousins.
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If her son is trying to see after her, handle her affairs as POA, etc., he can’t also take on a dog to feed and walk and bathe or take to the vet/groomer. Maybe he has a job OR a home of his own and responsibilities. That is really asking too much of this person to expect him to do all of this. We have people on this forum who are stressed to the gills trying to take charge of a sock loved one. But, YOU could take the pet. Tell him to let you have it. You can keep it for her until she gets out of the hospital or know what her status is as far as functioning and care.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to elaineSC

If she is competent, no he cannot make that decision. His POA only gives him the ability to pay her bills when she can't and make Medicaid decisions, based on her wishes, when she is not able to.

If his POA is based on her being incompetent, its not in effect until she is. There is an immediate POA, but even then neither cover giving her dog away because he doesn't like it. Are u sure she is coming home? Maybe she is being placed in an AL or LTC. Some ALs do except small pets, but you have to be able to care for it. LTC/NHs don't allow them.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29

No it doesn’t give him the “right” but what’s to stop him?
She can change her POA. I would if my child did that to me. I would view it as a sign of things to come BUT, as has been mentioned there are many considerations beyond his right to do this. The dog could be kenneled until she is able to care for it or long term decisions could be made.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to 97yroldmom

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