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All Dogs Go to Heaven (Update)

I previously posted about Bela, the German Shepherd, whose owner requested that he be put down, cremated, and have his ashes spread with the owner’s ashes.  The owner’s wishes resulted in a social media storm that ended with a Utah animal shelter providing him a home.  It turns out that the entire incident was much ado about a month. Bela was diagnosed with cancer over the weekend and put down. His ashes will be buried with his owner’s.

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All Dogs Go to Heaven

The will of a Cincinnati area woman is in the national news because it provides that her nine year old German Shepherd mix was to be destroyed and its ashes mixed with hers if a friend did not take the dog or the dog did not go to an Utah shelter for orphaned animals.   The friend has declined to care for the aggressive dog who needs muzzling around strangers and the Utah shelter costs $40,000.  Animal lovers are horrified about the likely euthanization of the dog and are pillorying the deceased woman in the media.

Several points:

1.  Ohio law allows pet trusts.  An individual is designated to take care of the animal(s) and someone else manages the funds for the care of the animal.  I have drafted quite a few of these in the past 2 years.

2.  With the thousands of animals killed daily in shelters, I think the critics’ ire is misdirected when trying to save an elderly Cujo.

3.  If the legal proceedings last very long, the dog will reach its life expectancy (10 years for German Shepherds) and die of natural causes.  Time is a friend of people and the dog.

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All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.