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Governor of Hawaii signs pet trust law

Published: Sat, June 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Twenty states already have pet trust laws in place.

HONOLULU (AP) -- The audience was eager for the governor to put pen to paper. Some drooled. Catching the spirit of excitement, a few even lost control and barked.

Canines of all sizes and a spotted rabbit named Roxy were among those gathered Friday at the Capitol to watch Gov. Linda Lingle sign into law a measure that allows residents to leave a trust for the care of their dog, cat, or other domestic animal.

Lingle's two cats, Nani Girl and Stripes, were not in attendance.

& quot;As you know cats don't do as well in public settings like this as dogs do, & quot; Lingle said.

Friday also marked National & quot;Take Your Pet to Work Day. & quot; Several legislators and a number of other workers showed off their four-legged friends, who mostly behaved.

& quot;These aren't just pets. These are a part of the family. You miss them when you're away. You worry about them. They really are important parts of your life, & quot; Lingle said.

Patient inspiration

Animal law attorney Emily Gardner helped draft the original bill.

Garner became attracted to the issue while visiting elderly long-term care patients at St. Francis Hospital with her dog, Toby, who works as a therapy dog.

Some of the residents told her they were concerned about their animals and wanted to be able to provide for them after they died.

& quot;I had to tell them that, unfortunately, that the way the law was currently written there was no legally enforceable means for them to do that, & quot; said Gardner, as she cradled Toby.

Researching the state's options, Gardner said she found 20 states had legally enforceable trust laws for pets.


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