JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Pet Trusts Ensure Continued Care for Companion Animals

THURSDAY, 07 JULY 2011 19:16

070711SEN1BY GENE L. OSOFSKY, ESQ.

Special to the Times

Q: My two dogs are my constant companions and provide me a great deal of comfort,  but I worry about what might happen to them should something happen to me. Is there something I can do to provide for their care when I can no longer do so?

A: Yes there is, and you are not alone in expressing your concerns. Our furry companions provide great comfort to us, and it’s natural to want to ensure their continued welfare.

One technique is to create a Pet Trust. As its name implies, a Pet Trust is a trust created for the specific purpose of caring for companion animals. The essential elements are: the naming of a trustee to manage the money you place into the trust, a caretaker to take physical care of your pets, a non-profit backup to take the pets if your designated caretaker is not able to do so, and detailed instructions on how to care for your pets.  

Since January 2009, Pet Trusts have become enforceable in California in a court of law. And, most other states have similar laws.

The Pet Trust can be created in your will, but since the will is not effective until it is admitted to probate, which usually only occurs many weeks after death, it is better to create a pet trust during your lifetime. It can be created as either a stand-alone trust or as a separate part of your  Living Trust.

The Pet Trust should be funded with enough money to cover the continued care of your companions for the duration of their anticipated lifetimes, including items such as anticipated veterinary fees and reasonable fees to their caregiver.

The amount of funding need not necessarily be large: for smaller animals such as dogs and cats, a few thousand dollars may be sufficient, while more would likely be required for larger animals such as horses.

But your death is not the only concern. What if you became ill and can no longer care for your animal companions?

To address this concern, you may also wish to include suitable powers in your Durable Power Of Attorney authorizing your agent to take charge of your pets if you become incapacitated and either furnish pet care themselves or hire a suitable caregiver to do so at your expense.

Likewise, you should give your agent specific instructions to bring your pets to visit you if feasible even if you’re not living in your own home, so that you and your pets can maintain your bond.

Your estate planning attorney can assist you in creating a suitable Pet Trust as part of your estate plan. Taking this extra step to provide for your companion animals can bring you great peace of mind and the comfort of knowing they will be cared for when you can no longer do so yourself.

Gene L. Osofsky is an elder law and estate planning attorney in Hayward. For more information, visit his website at www.LawyerForSeniors.com.

Related:

Leona Helmsley’s Will to Give $1 Million to Dog Causes, Down from $12M

Plan Ahead For Your Pets’ Care… Like Oprah

Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You

Using and Attorney is Often Best, Especially of You Are Talking Leona Helmsley or Oprah Money… For the Rest of Us Here Is A Great Book:   Order Your Copy Today:  Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-have Book for Your Owner

Cross-Posted at Ask Marion

July 9, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ASPCA Asks Court to Direct Helmsley Money Back to Dogs

ASPCA Asks Court to Direct Helmsley Money Back to Dogs

The ASPCA, along with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund, filed suit this week in New York Surrogate’s Court to intervene in the matter of the late Leona Helmsley’s $5 billion estate. The suit seeks to overturn an earlier ruling that allows the Helmsley Trustees—those responsible for issuing charitable grants from the estate—to disregard Mrs. Helmsley’s specific instructions that her wealth be used to help dogs.

“Just a fraction of the money involved in Mrs. Helmsley’s estate is a game-changer for animal welfare,” says Marsha Perelman, ASPCA Board Chair. “The fate of dogs in this country could very well rest on the decision of this lawsuit—it is that critical.”

No nonprofit groups involved with animal welfare were contacted or given an opportunity to register formal objections prior to the court’s controversial ruling last fall. As a result of that ruling, and in clear violation of Mrs. Helmsley’s wishes, less than 0.1% the trust’s initial round of grants was allocated to dog welfare-related charities.

“Dog fighting, puppy mills, pet homelessness and overpopulation are not $100,000 problems. But they’re not billion-dollar problems, either,” says Ed Sayres, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Mrs. Helmsley understood the importance of animal welfare. She wanted her worldly estate to make our society better for dogs and animals—and if distributed as she intended, it definitely has the power to do so.”

This case has larger implications beyond the fate of the Helmsley estate. The three organizations believe that the court system has a responsibility to protect the wishes of any decedent, and also to protect the charity world from the whims of trustees who wish to ignore estate planning instructions. The misdirection of the Helmsley fortune should be of interest to everyone who hopes to provide for beloved pets after death, as well as to the multitude of organizations, from nonprofits to universities, that rely on bequests.

The groups involved in the lawsuit are not seeking grants for themselves, but do hope to work with the Helmsley Trustees in an advisory capacity to award grants to animal welfare groups of various size and scope around the country. “There has been a sea change in recent years in how we treat animals. It’s a shame that the Helmsley Trustees don’t understand or respect that change,” says Sayres.

Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #HelmsleyEstate

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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Order Your Copy Today

Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-have Book for Your Owner

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August 15, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania… Puppy Mill Capital, USA???

Thanks to “Nightline” for the episode about puppy mills in Pennsylvania.  Watch the video, and think about it before purchasing a puppy in a petstore.  Sadly by “saving” that one pup from the store, you are causing several more to suffer.  This will only stop if we quit shopping and supporting these types of stores!

Source: Sandi’s  K9  Management

Posted:  Just One More Pet

July 10, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Government Money Used To Build Monkeyless Exhibit Instead of Saving Rescued Abandoned and Homeless Animals and Stopping the Euthanization of Healthy Animals

Would you believe a story about the Los Angeles Zoo spending millions (about $7 million) in taxpayer money on a Chinese Golden Monkey exhibit — only to have the Chinese decide they don’t want to send the monkeys? Wait, what happened to the firefighters and the teachers? California’s government tells us they have no money for them, yet they are spending money on Chinese Golden Monkeys? (STORY) No wonder 90% of Americans, according to the L.A. Times, are concerned with government spending.

Chinese Baby Money Fam Chinese Golden Monkeys

LA Zoo Searches for New Simians After Monkey Snub

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Zoo may have the nation’s only monkey lair approved by a feng shui expert. There’s only one problem: No monkeys.

The city spent $7.4 million building the China-themed primate enclosure — complete with Canary Island palm trees, artificial trees with extra springy limbs, and a viewing structure with Chinese-style tilework — after China promised to lend the zoo a trio of rare golden snub-nosed monkeys.

But now the Chinese government has taken the monkeys off the table, leaving zoo officials searching for suitable stand-in simians to take the place of the golden monkeys, known for their blue-faces and blond-hair.

“Within 60 days, some lucky monkey will have a home there,” City Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes the zoo, said Thursday.

Zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs said negotiations with Chinese officials broke down several weeks ago, but he did not know why.

The Chinese official that had signed the agreement granting Los Angeles the monkeys has since left his position, he said.

The Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles did not answer a call seeking comment and an e-mail was returned as undeliverable. The Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, which was to oversee the animal loan, did not answer a call before business hours in Beijing.

Chinese officials had offered a 10-year-lease for the monkeys to former Mayor James Hahn during a visit to China in 2002.

Hahn had originally sought to lease pandas for the zoo, but Chinese officials refused, saying four zoos in the U.S. already have pandas, said David Towne, president of the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation, which helped broker the failed monkey loan.

“They use the pandas as somewhat of a diplomatic and political tool as a reward for supporting Chinese policies,” he said.

The city agreed to pay the Chinese government $100,000 a year for the monkeys that were offered instead of pandas. Officials voted in 2006 to build the enclosure designed to look like a rural Chinese village. The enclosure was finished in 2008.

A feng shui expert hired for $4,500 tweaked the final design with a water fountain and other features meant to promote the monkeys’ health and happiness.

Zoo officials are now consulting with their colleagues at other zoos to obtain native Chinese monkey species that will fit in with the surroundings.

“Of course we’re disappointed we didn’t get the golden monkeys, but the end result is we have a gorgeous new habitat, which is fully capable of housing any other variety of Asian primate,” Jacobs said.

By JACOB ADELMAN – L.A. Times –  Jun 11, 2009 – The Associated Press

Source:  GlennBeck.com

And what makes this story even more unbelievable and crazy is that not only is California virtually bankrupt and both firefighters and school teacher’s jobs are in peril, but how about instead of spending $7 million on Chinese Monkeys visiting L.A. on loan, that we look after thousands upon thousands of animals, healthy American pets, that are being abandoned and taken to California shelters statewide in record numbers because of the foreclosure situation and after ‘we over-bred’ them, both manmade situations, causing these animals to be euthanized in record numbers.

Just last week the ASPCA sent out an alert to stop Governor Schwartzennegger from cutting Shelter Funding: California: Protest Governor’s Plan to Cut Shelter Funding! .  His plan would allow shelters to euthanize healthy pets that are not picked up after 3-days or less rather than allow 60-days to find them homes; which in today’s environment, isn’t enough.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal would suspend the state mandate and cut the minimum holding period to three days or less.

Due to the dramatic increase in home foreclosures, more and more animals are ending up in shelters—and if this proposal passes, shelters will be forced to euthanize scores of healthy, adoptable pets who might have otherwise found happy endings in new homes. These animals have already had their lives turned upside down. They deserve the opportunity to get a second chance and to live out their natural life span(s).

What You Can Do


Please take a few minutes today to call your California state senator and assemblymember to ask them to oppose the governor’s proposal to suspend the animal adoption mandate.

Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to find your legislators’ phone numbers and let us know you called.

If we insist on going along with this insanity of bailouts, then why can’t some of this TARP money that is just ‘sitting somewhere’ or is being used to study swine odor or why men don’t like wearing condoms be used to rescue living animals, stop the euthanization of all healthy animals, and cut adoption fees at shelters to help families adopt an animal or an additional pet.  Temporarily housing homeless and abandoned animals and then coordinating the various facets of matching homeless animals with potential families is a ‘shovel ready project’ that would save and create jobs in California and most other states while saving lives.

Perhaps the LA Zoo would like to offer up the the empty Chinese Golden Monkey Exhibit Facility  and funds for that program for the over-flowing LA, OC and Inland Empire shelters until some TARP money could be provided for a new facility, a central coordination program, food and supplies for existing shelters and rescue programs and and/or to update and enlarge existing facilities??   They could even set up an adoption center at the Zoo!?!

Thank you, California, for speaking up for your state’s neediest animals.  First priorities should always be for programs that affect live creatures directly… people and animals instead of many of the crazy things on the approved “bailout” project list.

-Ask Marion/Just One More Pet

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June 24, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Turtle Crossing Stimulus Project Not Shovel Ready. As a Result, Many Turtles Are.

stimulatingThe office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released a report [PDF] today highlighting 100 questionable projects in the stimulus bill.

My personal favorite, largely for the metaphor potential regarding the rate of stimulus spending, is number five: a turtle crossing in Florida. The “eco-passage” is an oldie but a goodie, this one clocking in at $3.4 million and counting in stimulus funds. Here’s a fun fact from the report:

The area has the highest road-kill mortality rate for turtles in the world.

But unlike many a neglected pet turtle, the project isn’t even “shovel ready.” It’s still in the design phase, according to Coburn’s report. So stimulus or no, the turtle genocide continues.

Reason has been all over another one of Coburn’s top ten—the John Murtha-Johnstown Cambria County Airport.

Read the whole thing here [PDF].

Katherine Mangu-Ward | June 16, 2009, 3:32pm

My question is if we have 3.4 Million Dollars to build a safe turtle crossing… how can California justify pulling the bulk of their shelter funds and killing thousands of healthy cats and dogs???  Hello, how about somebody in Congress or the Governor getting some stimulus funds to protect innocent animals in California?  –  Ask Marion/Just One More Pet

Please write/call/fax your State and Federal Congress-members, Senators, Governor Schwarzenegger, and the Stimulus Czar for aid for our helpless animal friends, and keep up the pressure until the funds come through.  A quick note to Oprah would help too!!

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June 17, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Uncategorized, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California: Protest Governor’s Plan to Cut Shelter Funding!

ASPCA Urgent Alert

Dear California Animal Advocates,

As many of you have heard, one of Governor Schwarzenegger’s ideas to reduce California’s $24 billion budget deficit is to slash state funding to city and county shelters. This funding is used to support the state’s “animal adoption mandate” to keep shelter animals alive for no less than six days, which gives people a reasonable window of time to locate lost pets. It also gives unclaimed animals the chance to be adopted or taken in by rescue groups.  Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal would suspend the state mandate and cut the minimum holding period to three days or less.

Due to the dramatic increase in home foreclosures, more and more animals are ending up in shelters—and if this proposal passes, shelters will be forced to euthanize scores of healthy, adoptable pets who might have otherwise found happy endings. These animals have already had their lives turned upside down. They deserve the opportunity to get a second chance.

What You Can Do

Please take a few minutes today to call your California state senator and assemblymember to ask them to oppose the governor’s proposal to suspend the animal adoption mandate.

Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to find your legislators’ phone numbers and let us know you called.

Thank you, California, for speaking up for your state’s neediest animals.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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Be Sure To Order: Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish

By Mark R. Levin, Best Selling Author of Liberty and Tyranny

My question is if we have 3.4 Million Dollars to build a safe turtle crossing in Florida with Stimulus Funds… how can California justify pulling the bulk of their shelter funds and killing thousands of healthy cats and dogs… after only holding them for 3-days???  Hello…  how about somebody in Congress or the Governor getting some stimulus funds to protect innocent animals in California?   – Ask Marion/Just One More Pet

Please write/call/fax your State and Federal Congress-members, Senators, Governor Schwarzenegger, and the Stimulus Czar for aid for our helpless animal friends, and keep up the pressure until the funds come through.  A quick note to Oprah would help too!!

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Animal Welfare: Oprah focuses on California’s Proposition 2

 “I believe how we treat the least of beings among us determines our own humanity!”  …Oprah said in opening remarks on her show about the treatment of farm animals

 

The Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday shined a spotlight and her support on Proposition 2, the California ballot initiative that will determine how animals are raised. 

Reporter Lisa Ling visited both free-range farms and “factory” farms to show viewers the differences in how animals are raised. On the set of the program, Oprah stood next to replicas of cages and crates to show the size of some animals’ quarters in large-scale farm operations. Those who support California’s Proposition 2 say these animals have a right to more space during their lives. Opponents claim the new law would drive up costs, put farmers out of business and end the egg industry in California, and deny consumers the right to choose less-expensive food. 

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told Oprah’s audience that he supports Proposition 2. “This is just about basic decency,” he said. “It’s about, if animals are going to be raised for food – and that’s certainly the case in this country – then the least we can do for them is allow them to move. I mean, what’s more basic that allowing animals with legs and wings to move around and treating them in a humane way? Californians do the right thing and vote ‘Yes’ on Prop 2.”

The show, however, was not one-sided. Opponents of Proposition 2 also had their say. Ryan Armstrong, a third-generation egg farmer from California, told the audience that if Proposition 2 passes, it will make eggs produced in California too expensive for most consumers, creating the possibility that eggs will be imported from places without these animal housing laws.  (However, in several other states the changes are already being made). 

A couple that now raises range-free veal calves successfully, says that in the long run, it is actually cheaper and less labor intensive to allow them to live freely, with their mothers. 

Another farmer who raises range free pigs and chickens says that food is all about energy, and the energy emitted from abused animals affects all of us who eat that meat in a negative way. 

Listen to AgriTalk’s interview with Illinois Farm Bureau President Phil Nelson, who invited Winfrey to travel outside of Chicago and visit a farm in downstate Illinois.

Listen to AgriTalk’s interview with Matt Kellogg, a hog farmer from Yorkville, Illinois who was featured on the program and talked about the experience.

Source: Drovers

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vote Yes on California Prop 2 – End Farm Animal Abuse!

STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY!!!

Tomorrow, on the “Oprah” show, I’ll be making the case to millions of people that California’s Proposition 2, if successful, will end the cruel confinement of 20 million farm animals.

I’m also excited to tell you that The New York Times endorsed Prop 2 last week — a huge win for the campaign. As you probably know, Prop 2 will end the practice of cramming farm animals into cages and crates so small the animals can’t even turn around, lie down, or extend their limbs.

If passed, Prop 2 will be the biggest victory for farm animals in California’s history.

But standing in the way is Big Agribusiness, which is pouring millions of dollars into a deceptive campaign here to defeat Prop 2 and preserve factory farms’ cruel confinement practices.

The next 21 days before the election will be pivotal — and we can’t win without your support and your vote on Election Day.

Here’s the latest news, and a few ways you can help:

Watch Oprah
On tomorrow’s show (Tuesday, October 14), I’ll be going head-to-head with the front men of the agribusiness industry in defense of the 20 million farm animals in California who don’t have room to turn around or stretch their limbs.
Click here to find out when the show will air where you live.

Read the New York Times' Ringing Endorsement
Here’s a snippet: “The fact that such fundamental decencies have to be forced upon factory farming says a lot about its horrors. We urge California voters to pass Proposition 2. We urge every state to enact similar laws.”
Click here to read the full editorial on my blog.

Here are two ways you can help pass this historic measure right now:

1. Support the YES! on Prop 2 campaign by visiting the campaign website and learning about the many ways you can help.

2. If you haven’t already, watch our animated video and pass it along to your neighbors, friends, and family in California.

YES! on Prop 2 is a true grassroots campaign, funded by thousands of small donations from animal lovers like you. By contrast, the deceptive No on Prop 2 campaign is bankrolled by a handful of rich agribusiness corporations from across the country — with an average donation of more than $40,000.

The factory farm industry is blinded by the bottom line. No matter how much money they dump into defeating this measure, they can’t stamp out the truth: Prop 2’s commonsense reforms are long overdue.

Thank you for being a part of this campaign. On November 4, millions of animals will be thanking you, too.

Sincerely,
Wayne Pacelle
Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States 

Permalink: https://justonemorepet.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/vote-yes-on-ca…nia-prop-2-end/

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment