Sen. Boucher Proposes Legislation To Make It Easier For Pet Owners To Provide For Animals That Survive Them

March 9, 2009

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) is calling for the General Assembly to pass legislation that would allow pet owners to establish trusts to provide for their domestic animals that survive them.

Senator Boucher recently testified in favor of her bill, SB 650, An Act Concerning The Creation of Trusts For The Care Of Domestic Animals, before the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. Specifically, the bill calls for permitting pet owners to create a trust that would terminate following the death of the last domestic animal named by the trust. Either the pet owner or the Probate Court would be permitted to name someone to enforce the trust.

“The question of who cares for a pet after the death of its owner is troubling to many people. Some pets, like parrots, can live for 40 to 80 years. If a pet owner becomes ill, incapacitated or dies, it makes sense to have already decided ahead of time how to provide one’s beloved pets with food, shelter, veterinary care and companionship. Pet ownership is a responsibility, and this proposal allows pet owners to make plans for carrying out that responsibility in the event that their pets survive them,” said Senator Boucher.

Senator Boucher said she has spoken with constituents who want to know what they can do to ensure that their pets are not neglected abandoned or euthanized if they die before their domestic animals do.

“Passing this legislation would call attention to the need for pet owners to think about this issue now and plan ahead for providing, at minimum, the basics for their orphaned family pets. We should follow the example of states like Rhode Island and make sure we have a law on the books that spells out what pet owners can do to protect, and provide for, their pets when they are no longer able to do so,” said Senator Boucher.