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News Jul 7, 2009 - 12:01 PM

Bill to allow pet owners to set up trusts for animals

By Governor Rell's Office

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Governor M. Jodi Rell today signed a bill that allows pet owners to set up enforceable trusts to care for their animals, ensuring that the animals are not neglected or euthanized if they die before their pets.

“Those who derive joy from the companionship of their devoted pets can now have peace of mind knowing their pets will be properly cared for when they are no longer around,” Governor Rell said. “Pets ask nothing of us but kindness and, in turn, reward us with unconditional love.”

Senate Bill 650, An Act Concerning the Creation of a Trust for the Care of An Animal, requires that the pet owner designate a “trust protector,” someone whose sole duty is to act on behalf of the animal, ensuring the pet receives the proper care.

A Superior Court or probate court would have jurisdiction over the trust, which terminates when the last surviving animal dies. The trust protector can seek legal action in either court to remove or replace a trustee, the individual overseeing the fund, if the money was spent on anything other than its intended use.

Prior to the new law, pet owners could set up trusts for their animals but those arrangements were considered honorary since animal beneficiaries cannot enforce them.

“Pet ownership is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly,” Governor Rell said. “Owners can now ensure that their special member of the family will get the care it deserves for the rest of its life.”

The law takes effect October 1, 2009.

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