The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture


Thursday, May 26, 2005  

LEAVING THE DOG BEHIND
God Forbid
Thursday Bulldog Blogging

Okay, so it applies to any breed of dog, not just bulldogs, but it’s getting late and I can’t think of anything else at the moment, so let me draw your attention to “And to My Dog, I Leave a $10,000 Trust Fund,” by MaryAnn Mott in the May 22 issue of the New York Times:

Laws in 27 states -- including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey[,] and New York -- now allow owners to establish trusts for pets. These arrangements set aside money for the care of one or more animals in the event of an owner’s disability or death. . . . More states may soon allow it. Pet trust legislation is pending in Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island[,] and Texas.

Apparently it’s quite easy to do and can cost as little as a hundred dollars. And worth doing: “[M]ore than 500,000 pets are killed in shelters and veterinary offices each year after their owners die, according to 2nd Chance 4 Pets, a nonprofit organization in Los Gatos, Calif., that raises awareness of this problem.” (Hyperlink added.)

An example of how the trusts work: “For $500, [PetGuardian] enrolls its customers in a program that includes a comprehensive pet trust document, a cost analysis to determine how much money to set aside for the pet’s care and emergency identification cards for owners to post at home and carry in their wallets. . . . Best Friends Animal Society, a large no-kill shelter in Utah, finds homes for pets, no matter where they reside, if the caregivers named in the trust are no longer available.”

Owners can leave detailed instructions. One client of PetGuardian “stipulated that her dog be fed barbeque chicken in the morning and grilled ribs at night. Others want their pets to sleep only on beds of a certain density and to receive special squeaky toys.”

Don’t worry, Mildred, arrangements already have been made. The list of demands stipulations runs eight single-spaced pages.

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