Based upon the success of Pets’ Trust Miami, a Florida legislator has introduced a proposal to allow voters in each county the opportunity to support a separate property tax on real estate in order to pay for spay and neuter programs for local animals
Sen. Gwen Margolis’ bill seeks to reduce the population of unwanted animals in Florida communities.
The proposal is called “Pet Services and Welfare Programs.”
A client recently asked me if I could recommend a taxidermist for her dog. She had a friend in California who utilized this service upon the death of his cat.
I must admit that I have never thought of this process.
Now that I have, it seems to me to be pretty disgusting.
When the time is appropriate, I would rather remember her life and smile about my dog.
Thinking about all of her crazy actions and her own idiosyncrasies.
I do not want my dog to be hanging around as a stuffed doll.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation released its 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.
The book is filled with interesting statistics on animals in the United States.
The book states that the total of veterinary expenditures for all pets increased to $28 billion during 2011 and that the average expenditure for this care, per household for all pets, was $375.
At year-end 2011, the report reveals that 56 percent of all U.S. households were home to a pet and that Vermont leads all states in ownership, with more than two-thirds of Vermonters owning at least one pet.
For information on ordering this book visit their site at www.avma.org.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all...
Hug your family and your pets...
Enjoy the day.
A reader recently asked me, “Can I be buried with my pet?”
As always …it depends.
In some states, where pet lovers cannot have their pets buried with them, individuals are choosing to be cremated and then buried with the pet in “the pet cemetery.”
In Florida, the pet lover has another choice.
Although pet cemeteries are unregulated, pets may be buried with their owners, if the animal dies before the owner.
The pet is to be cremated and then the ashes may be placed in the grave or crypt, providing that the cemetery by- laws permit same.
You and your pet together...forever.
Miami–Dade County voters, in Florida, were recently asked their input on a proposed Pets’ Trust initiative.
The question was whether the voter would be willing to pay a tax of $10.00 per $100,000.00 of real property value. The tax revenue would help provide free or low-cost spaying and neutering of stray and abandoned animals
The resulting yes vote provided a strong public showing of support that will be presented to the County Commission for their consideration.
The voters have made their decision, now it is up to the Commission to put their request into actions.
I recently received this question from an attorney in Massachusetts.
I have created my first pet trust for a client, and ai have a question. I usually do irrevocable trusts for real estate that have to be filed at the registry of deeds. Does the pet trust typically have to get registered anywhere, or is it like a will that the client puts in a secure place?
I just provide a copy to the Trustee and the Caregiver.
I recently received a phone call from two students attending the University Of Nebraska College Of Law.
They are involved in a legal clinic at the school and are focusing on estate planning for animal owners.
I was pleased to provide some direction into their interests and assist them in their endeavors.
It is great to see future attorneys already entering the growing field of animal law and taking the time to help animal owners who might not otherwise have the resources to do so
An Oregon Appeals court recently decided, in at least one case, that someone who commits a crime against an animal may be treated as though it was a crime against a person.
According to the Court record, “dozens of emaciated animals, mostly horses and goats, and several animal carcasses in various states of decay," were discovered in the yard in an Umatilla County home.
The owner of the residence was originally charged with neglect. However, the District Attorney did not proceed in the usual manner of prosecuting an animal abuse case, but charged the individual with numerous separate counts of animal abuse.
After a jury found the owner guilty of twenty separate crimes, the Trial Court Judge consolidated all of the counts into one and the State appealed the decision.
It is interesting to note that in reversing the lower Court, that a part of the Appellate decision stated “it appears that the Legislature's primary concern was to protect individual animals as sentient beings*.”
*sentience implies the ability to experience pleasure and pain.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has recently held that there is no cause of action for emotional distress for a pet owner.
Joyce McDougall was walking her dog when a large dog attacked her pet and shook it several times before dropping it, causing the death of Joyce’s dog.
She sued the owner of the attacking dog for the value of her pet and also alleged that, as a result of witnessing the dog’s death, she suffered significant emotional distress for which she demanded money damages.
Her request for money for the emotional damages was denied by the trial court and the Appellate Court affirmed that decision.
She appealed and the State Supreme Court ruled, in: Joyce McDougall v. Charlot Lamm
“There is no basis in law or public policy to expand the traditionally and intentionally narrow grounds established in Portee v. Jaffee, 84 N.J. 88 (1980), which permits compensation for the traumatic loss of carefully defined classes of individuals, to include emotional distress claims arising from observing a pet’s death. Although humans may share an emotional and enduring bond with pets, permitting that bond to support a recovery for emotional distress would require the Court to vastly expand the classes of human relationships that would qualify for Portee damages or to elevate relationships with animals above those shared with other human beings.”
The Clerk of the Court has outlined the findings of the Court here.
It seems to be a well-reasoned opinion, whether you agree with it or not…