Animal lovers opt for "pre-pup" agreements

11 December 2014

Almost one in three animal loving couples fear their pets could become tug of love victims if they split up, according to new research issued today by The Co-operative Insurance.

7% of UK couples have set up a pre nup agreement, also known as a ‘Pre-pup’, in order to prevent a furry custody battle and ensure that if their relationship was to breakdown, clear guardianship arrangements would determine who would gain custody of the pet(s).

Further to this, almost a third (31%) of UK couples either have or would consider putting an agreement in place in case their relationship ends. According to the research, 18-24 year-olds are more likely to put an agreement in place, with 38% of 18-24 year-olds doing so. In comparison to only 11% of adults aged 55 and above.

Interestingly, although almost 40% (39%) of couples surveyed jointly own the pet(s), with their partner, 44% of women compared to 23% of men say that if the relationship was to break down, they would keep the pet(s).

Worryingly, almost 40% (38%) of UK Adults admit they have no idea what would happen to their furry companion if they separated from their partner.

Andrew Nevitt, Product Manager for The Co-operative Pet Insurance said:

“Many people consider their pet to be part of the family and the risk of losing their companionship can make the pain of a relationship break up even harder to bear. Recent research conducted with our partners** found that 11% of rescue homes say that owners being unable to cope with a relationship split was a key trigger behind dog abandonment. It’s reassuring therefore to see owners adopting a responsible approach to pet ownership by ensuring that if their own circumstances change, their pet will continue to get the best possible care.“

Jenny Beck, Head of Family Law at The Co-operative Legal Services, said:

“The breakdown of a relationship can be extremely difficult and can cause stress for all parties involved. Having a living together agreement in place between you and your partner which among decisions such as assets and payment of bills can include who would gain custody of a pet in the event that you did separate can ease the burden at a very upsetting and stressful time.”

For further information contact:

Lauren Hoult
07702 505 626

Emily Dalton
07738 621 201

Notes to Editors:

*Research was conducted by amongst 2,000 UK adults by 72 point on behalf of the Co-operative Legal services.
** Research, conducted amongst 401 rescue centres by dog adoption site and The Co-operative Insurance

About Co-operative Group:
The Co-operative Group, which is the UK’s largest co-operative business with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £11 billion.