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Robert Kass: Well, the first thing that’s happened is that clients have come to us asking if we could help them make these plans. They consider the pets a part of the family, and they realize, in their cases, for example, that there won’t be anyone else to take care of the pets and they want to make some provision. So we’ve had to think this through with them and look for examples of what has worked and the problems that have come up.
And as we talked to more people, and particularly people who see the book, they share stories with us that are shocking to pet owners where, you know, someone has passed away and the family just takes all of the animals to the vet and asks for the vet to euthanize them, or another case where a fellow did want to make provisions, and did, in fact, write in a will which he drafted himself, that he leaves his pet cat, Fritz, to his nephew, John, and $5,000 to take care of the cat, and when he passed away, John came to the executor for the $5,000. The executor said, “Where’s the cat?” And he said, “I took care of it.”
So, yeah, when you’re a pet owner and you hear that, you say, “This can’t be,” but these are stories that we hear from people, and you have to respond by saying, “If you care enough about your pets, then you need to do something.” And it’s not only about when you die. It’s about, you know, the everyday occurrence if you get in a car accident, and you end up in the ICU for three or four days. Does anyone know there’s a pet at home? It could be real basic.
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