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Planning for Pets: Trusts, Leash Laws and More

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Planning for Pets: Trusts, Leash Laws and More

Author: Joanne Dekker, Esq.

If you have a pet or are an animal lover, you’re not alone. It’s been estimated that over 68% of American households have a pet, including over 83 million dogs and 95 million cats! And that doesn’t include all of the fish, birds, rabbits, gerbils, snakes, lizards, ferrets and horses sharing our homes and lives.

If you consider your pet a member of your family, this book makes it easy to understand:

  • How you can provide for your pet with estate planning and pet trusts
  • The laws that touch our pets on an everyday basis such as rabies vaccines and leash laws.
  • What happens to pets in a divorce.
  • Service dogs in public places and “no pet” housing projects.
  • How animal laws and rights impact your community.
  • Law that impact people and their pets in weather emergencies.

This book, written by an animal lover, covers a lot of ground. And provides checklists and other valuable resources to keep your pet safe!

Real Life Legal wants you to be prepared!

Joanne Dekker is an attorney whose specialties include employment law, government contract and general business litigation, and animal rights. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.


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Table of Contents

What This Book‘s About

Estate Planning for Pets

Setting Up a Trust for Your Pet
   Planning Without a Trust
If You Can No Longer Care for Your Pet

How a Pet Trust Works

Pet Trusts are Created Under a Will or a Living Trust
   Advantages of Using a Living Trust
Role of Your Pet Trustee
How Much Money Is Needed?

Who Will Take Care of My Pet?

How Long Does the Pet Trust Last?
Contingency Plans for Pet Trusts
   What If My Caretaker Doesn’t Take Care of My Pets?
   What If My Heirs Object to My Pet Trust?

Pet Burials

Can I Be Buried with My Pet?

Emergency Preparedness and Your Pets

Government-Mandated Emergency Preparedness Includes Pets
Government Mandates That Affect Pets in Emergencies

Public Health and Safety Issues Affecting Your Pets

Animal Control Officers
   Are Rabies Vaccinations Mandatory?
   Contact Animal Control and/or Your Local Health Department
   Will My Pet Be Quarantined or Euthanized If Exposed to Rabies?

Exotic Animals

Federal Laws Concerning Exotic Animals

Leash Laws and Licensing

What Happens If My Dog Is Off Leash?
   Leash Laws in Rural Settings
   Licensing Requirements Help You and Your Dog!

“Breed-Specific” Legislation or Restrictions

“Dangerous Dog” Laws
Leaving Pets in Hot, Locked Cars
Laws Protecting “Outside” Dogs
Legal Proceedings Involving Your Pets

“I want a divorce. And I want the cat, too.”
Protecting a Pet from a Violent Spouse or Partner
Collecting Damages for a Pet That’s Been Injured or Killed
Federal Laws Affecting Service and Assistance Animals

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Service Animals
   Service Animals Must “Work”
   Service Animals Must Be Admitted by Businesses and Employers
   Other Rules Affecting Service Animals
The Fair Housing Act and Assistance Animals
   Getting a Waiver of a Landlord’s “No Pets” Policy
If a Landlord Is Discriminating Against You
Traveling with Your Pet

Pets in Hotels
Air travel
   The Air Carrier Access Act of 1988
   The Safe Air Travel for Animals Act
Airport Security
Train Travel
Boarding Facilities and Pet Sitters
   Boarding Your Pet
   Hiring a Pet Sitter


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