Today’s episode of All My Children Wear Fur Coats welcomed Beth Stultz-Hairston, Vice-President, Marketing and Operation for Pet Sitters International (PSI). Beth is a pet lover who has been working in the industry for more than 15 years. She is also a pet parent to cats, dogs, chickens and assorted farm critters.
PSI was founded by Patti J. Moran in 1994. She is the author of Pet Sitting for Profit, now considered to be the “bible” of professional pet sitting. Patti entered the world of professional pet sitting in 1983 when she started her own pet sitting business. At that time there were few resources available on pet sitting or in-home pet care.
For more than two decades, PSI has been a pioneer in the pet-sitting industry and a trusted educational resource for both pet sitters and pet owners. The association’s commitment o industry excellence is reflected in its continually evolving resources and programs.
PSI’s industry contributions include:
At this year’s Pet Sitter World Education Conference & Expo, I’ll be presenting on the topic Creating Estate plans that Work for Pets…and their People. It’s an honor to be among some of the finest speakers in the pet industry.
PSI’s website is chock full of resources for both the professional pet-sitter, pet parents that only want the bet for the pets and those who might be interested in making pet-sitting a professional career. Their online locator can help pet parents find qualified people, dedicated to the craft of pet-sitting to take care of your children who wear fur coats.
Join us next week on Monday at 3 p.m. for another edition of All My Children Wear Fur Coats with Peggy Hoyt.
Today’s guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats with host, Peggy Hoyt, featured Dr. Raye Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a veterinarian with Blue Skies Pet.com. This organization focuses on end of life care for our beloved pets. They believe that making an end-of-life choice for our pets is a difficult decision. Their goal is to honor our relationship with our pets while guiding us through a difficult decision with compassionate support.
Dr. Taylor is a mixed animal veterinarian. Her passions include lots of animals including insects (honey bees), exotics, zoo animals, wildlife, fish, horses, production animals, and of course, small animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, and reptiles. She is one of a growing number of Human-Animal Bond Certified veterinarians. Her background includes research, microbiology, and immunology at Iowa State University. Her veterinary training is through St George's University and the University of Minnesota.
She came to be a veterinarian through a very traumatic experience as a young teenager when her beloved childhood Great Dane was euthanized at home in an agonizing, painful way. As a result of this experience she was determined no family should have to say farewell to their beloved pet without love, peace, compassion, and respect. She encourages all ages of family and other pets to be a part of this loving process. She believes in the focus on the balance of quality of life, even in death.
When Dr. Taylor isn’t working, she enjoys sailing, travel, and the arts, including her own writing. She is an active volunteer at Eagle Brook Church, VeTouch, and Nepris. She also serves as an instructor for BART (Basic Animal Response Training) and as member of the MNVMRC (Minnesota Veterinary Medicine Reserve Corps). She has a wonderful husband, a golden/lab mix Nelli, a practically untouchable super-soft cat Makita, and occasionally a bird and a bearded dragon. She says she has a special spot in her heart for Schipperkes.
Dr. Raye Taylor is a new member of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA). The membership of PLPA is committed to being an educational resource to its members. Members include pet loss suppliers, pet death care professionals and others committed to the lifetime care of our beloved pets.
Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia are two of the services offered by Blue Skies Pet.com. Hospice care for pets is designed to provide pain-relieving and comfort-giving care for pet companions near the end of their lives. It also allows pet owners the time they need to come to terms with their pets’ illness and determine the appropriate level of comfort care or optional treatments. Part of hospice care is accepting death as a part of life. Blue Skies Pet.com offers both a comprehensive hospice consultation that contemplates up to two months (60 days) of support as well as single in-home hospice visits.
There’s no right or wrong time, yet we feel like we can’t be sure. That’s where a dedicated professional that can provide guidance and compassion may make all the difference.
When it’s time to say good-bye, Blue Skies Pet.com is there to ease the way. Their in-home euthanasia service allows the pet parent to be in the comfort of their home, surrounded by family including other pets, friends and others that want to celebrate the life of your beloved pet.
Other family pets can feel the loss of their pet friend. Our pets are extremely sensitive. Dr. Taylor explained that having them present can help to ease their sense of loss, including the development of “broken heart syndrome” or other illnesses related to their grief. A pet simply doesn’t understand if their companion pet “goes away” and “never returns.”
Thank you to Dr. Raye Taylor and the other veterinarians at Blue Skies Pet.com, along with all of the other proactive veterinarians across our country committed to one thing – the best relationship we can have with our pets.
While Blue Skies Pet.com is only available in Minnesota and Wisconsin, check with your personal veterinarian for a referral in your area.
You can memorialize a departed pet by making a donation in their name to Animal Care Trust, USA, Inc.
"Today's guest was Kim Pruett. Kim is a "retired" rescuer and self-made animal advocate. Kim's life changed in a big way about fifteen years ago when she adopted her dog Rebel (now 15) from a shelter. Before that, Kim didn't know that animal shelters euthanized healthy, adoptable pets. Since then, she has been speaking up on behalf of animals everywhere!
Kim is passionate about all things pets. Today's show focused on a couple of her current concerns. We learned about the 12 steps to becoming a "no kill" shelter. Defined, a no kill shelter is one that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even whent eh shelter is full. Euthanasia is reserved for terminally ill animals or those that are considered dangerous to the public safety. Here are the 12 steps:
1. Feral Cat TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) Programs. Communities that embrace TNR have a lower kill level because feral cats are neutered and then returned to their colonies instead of being euthanized.
2. Comprehensive Adoption Programs. Most shelters are not welcoming adoption centers but instead are cold, inhospitabble holding facilities. Studies show that people get their pets from shelters only 20% of the time. We need to change these numbers. Let's adopt the motto, "Until there are none, adopt one!"
3. Low Cost Spay and Neuter programs. These programs will lead to fewer unwanted animals entering the shelter system. Fewer animals coming in means more animals getting a chance at adoption and a forever home.
4. Rescue Groups. Developing a working relationship with local rescue organizations and breed specific rescues helps to free up shelter space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning and ultimately, killing.
5. Social Media. Use the power of social media to let rescue groups, animal advocates and the public know about animals that need to find homes.
6. Foster Care Programs. Volunteer foster care is critical to lowering euthanasia rates. It is low cost or no cost and increases the capacity of a shelter to take more pets, improves public relations, enhances public perception and allows for the rehabilitation of sick, injured or behaviorally challenged animals. Many shelters and rescue organizations have adopted, "Take a Dog to Lunch" or "Foster for a Weekend" type programs. Foster programs increase the probabability of an animal finding its forever home.
7. Rehabilitation Programs - Medical and Behavioral. Shelters who have behavioral trainers on staff and who implement comprehensive vaccine, handling and socialization programs have higher adoption rates. A shelter is a scary place for many animals who just need an opportunity to find their forever home.
8. Public Relations/Community Involvement. A shelters public image is important to its success and its survival. Good, consistent marketing and public relations is crucial.
9. Volunteers. These people are the backbone of every successful no kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough money to hire more staff and always more to do than there are hours in the day.
10. Proactive Redemptions. This means getting strays or lost pets back to their owners before they ever get to the shelter. A shift from a passive to an active approach to getting pets back to their owners is a first step.
11. Pet Retention through Community Education. Shelters need to work with pet owners to educate them about how to keep their pets, not surrender them. Responsible pet ownership programs and behavioral training programs are just a few ways to accomplish this goal.
12. Leadership. A strong, proactive and compassionate leader is an absolute must.
Kim was also passionate about eliminating "pet mills" or "puppy mills" - establishments that exist for only one reason, to supply puppies, kittens and rabbits to the retail pet industry. If you buy a puppy from a puppy store, almost without exception it will be from a puppy mill. These breeder animals live in desperation. They never experience love, a home, proper veterinary care and healthy food and water. They don't have exercise or toys or sleep in a warm bed. They exist for only one reason, to produce more babies. When they can no longer produce, they are no longer wanted. Encourage your community and your state to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.
Get involved with your County Commission. Get some friends and make your voices heard. Get access to public documents. Demand accountability. Get your state and county officials to do the right things for animals - always.
Encourage your officials to adopt a state wide animal abuse registry. The link between animal abuse and domestic violence is well documented. Let's make the identities of these abusers known so they won't be allowed to own or adopt pets. You can learn more by clicking on the picture of Molly below - she's a survivor and the Ambassador for Marion County, Florida's Animal Abuse Registry.
Kim Kapes is the founder/director of In Harmony with Nature Animal Haven located in Orlando, Florida. Their passion is helping animals in need; specifically wolves and wolfdogs. You might also find some typical canines, cats, pigs and reptiles. You can visit their website at IHWN.org.
Kim is also the author of the book, From Wags to Riches, where you can learn from your dog the secrets and principles of becoming a better human being. Kim is a K9 Relations Specialist. She calls herself a specialist because she believes that dogs are truly the experts. In the book, Kim shares her experience and gives you the tools to not only give your dog the best but to be the best yourself. She wants to help people achieve the relationship they desire with their dogs. Kim will guide you thorugh the process of:
*The keys to grow personally fo the benefit of YOU and YOUR DOG
*Learning to bring into your life what you want
*The responsibilities of leadership adn what that means for your dog and your life
*Understanding survival instinct, and the importance of decision making skills
*Earning trust and respect by guiding your emotions and feelings
Kiim is an expert in wolf and wolfdog behavior. She does not recommend these animals be bred or kept as pets. Like any wild animal, they have strong instincts for survival. Issues of specific concern can include: 1. Digging, 2. Jumping (fences of 6 feet or more), 3. Climbing, 4. Escape artist techniques where they actually watch and learn from you (e.g. opening a gate), 5. Potty training - takes a year or more (if ever), 6. Interior destruction, especially things made of leather, 7. Integration with other animals including small dogs, cats and other small family pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, and 8. Social interaction - most wolves and wolfdogs have a low desire to interact with people and can be reclusive in nature.
You can helpIn Harmony with Nature Animal Haven by making a donation of money, building materials or other needed items such as paper towels and clorox. Reach out to find out what they need most.
You can also find them on FaceBook.
Today's show featured Pet Perennials co-founder, Remy Bibaud. Remy and her partner, Lori, created Cherished Ones, LLC and Pet Perennials in response to their own loved pets that had passed away. They wanted to find a way to remember and memorialize loved pets that would be meaningful to Pet Parents throughout the world.
Their first product, the Pet Perennials Kit, is a patented process where you and your family can create a living legacy for your loved pet. The kit comes with everything you need to create heart and paw-shaped wafers containing perennial plant seeds and if desired, pet cremains. These wafers are then planted and each year will produce a beautiful floral reminder of your loved pet. This product is eco-friendly and helps our environment through pollination. The Pet Perennials Kit is a loving way to teach younger family members about the loss of a Loved Pet.
The Pet Perennials Kit was so popular, they then released the Healing Hearts Candle, made from lavender and chamomile. After you've enjoyed the candle, you'll find a suprise - a heart shaped gemstone that is a forever keepsake and daily reminder of the loved shared with your pet.
You can also purchase their Rainbow Bridge mug. The Rainbow Bridge mug is a useful daily reminder that our loved pets are waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge - that magical place in heaven where all of the pets wait for their owners.
Their latest product is the Crystal Rainbow Suncatcher. This timeless keepsake begins with angel wings and transitions into a cascade of crystals, representing the colors of the rainbow and reminding us of the Rainbow Bridge. At the end of the cascade is a teardrop-prism representing the tears we shed on the day we welcomed our pet and those when we said our final goodbyes. There's a special option for horse lovers too.
New products can also be expected to help Pet Parents celebrate certain pet milestones; getting a new pet, a pet birthday; honoring a brave service dog, just to name a few. Stay tuned as these and other items become available.
Ordering is easy. You can buy for yourself or send a Sympathy Package to a friend or client. It's easy to sign up and there are no minimums or monthly obligations.
The Pet Perennials product line is a perfect gift from a veterinarian, groomer, pet professional or friend to celebrate the amazing legacy of our loved pets. Order yours today!
Today's show is my favorite subject - Estate Planning for Pets! It's the reason I wrote "All My Children Wear Fur Coats" and the reason I founded Animal Care Trust USA, Inc. It's also the reason every Monday I feature another guest that brings value to the world of Loved Pets.
Estate Planning for Pets is not new - it's been around since the 1990's. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have now adopted Pet Trust Statutes. That means that Pet Trusts are legal in every state. A Pet Trust is a trust where a Loved Pet is the primary beneficiary, rather than a person. It means our Loved Pets can be protected for life.
If you are ready to plan for your Loved Pets, the first thing to do is determine who will be your Pet Caregiver. This could be a person or an organization. If you don't have anyone, that's where Animal Care Trust USA and our Forever Program can help. You need at least two Pet Caregivers - a primary and a backup. Ideally, you'll have three with a perpetual care organization as one of your choices - organizations are a lot more likely to be around for the lifetime care of your Loved Pet than a person.
Next, create a notebook for each Loved Pet detailing all of the care requirements for your Loved Pet. Include all of their personal history as well as their medical history and their unique qualities. Think of this like "babysitter instructions" for a minor child you are leaving for the first time with a babysitter and you won't be available for questions.
Now you are ready to incorporate these instructions into your Pet Trust. I prefer a stand alone Pet Trust rather than one that's included in a Revocable Living Trust or a Will. A stand alone Pet Trust will be specific just for the care of your Loved Pets. A Pet Trust in a Revocable Living Trust is another option. However, the Pet Trust won't be funded until after your disability or death. Pet Trusts as part of a Last Will are not recommended as they may be subject to the delays of probate.
In addition to your Pet Caregivers, you'll also need to nominate a Pet Trustee. This can be a person or an organization. Most trust organizations are not set up to provide lifetime oversight for Loved Pets. That's why Animal Care Trust USA was created - to be the Nation's premier Pet Trustee. If you choose an individual, make sure it's someone that has financial experience and will have your Loved Pets best interests at heart. It is not recommended to choose the same person as the Pet Caregiver as this may create a conflict of interest.
You may also want to consider a Pet Care Panel - a couple of people you trust, which could include your veterinarian, to provide an additional level of oversight for both your Pet Caregiver and Pet Trustee. A Pet Care Panel is not required, just something to consider when crafting your Pet Trust Plan.
If you need help creating a Pet Trust Plan for your Loved Pet, reach out to us today! Animal Care Trust USA's mission is to keep Loved Pets in Loving Homes. We need you - Give, Volunteer, Plan. You can also reach out to me personally at Peggy@HoytBryan.com.
Today we welcomed to All My Children Wear Fur Coats with Peggy Hoyt our special guest, Dr. Emily Stein. Dr. Stein is known as the Bacteria Whisperer because she knows and understands things about bacteria that no one ever thought about. As a result, she is an expert in bacteria that affects our dental health and ultimately, our overall health. She attended the Univeristy of Iowa where she first developed her fascination with the microbial universe. After earning her degree in microbiology, she attended the University of California at Berkeley where she sharpened her understanding of how bacteria behave, consume and socialize for survival in every known environment. After earning her PhD, she attended Stanford Univeristy to pursue a Post Doctoral Fellowship in Immunology & Rhematolgy.
Dr. Stein became interested in dental health when her grandmother was living in an assisted living and needed assistance with brushing her teeth. Because she couldn't brush her teeth regularly, and because it wasn't high on the priority list for the staff at her facility, her dental health deterioriated. When your teeth and gums aren't healthy, you aren't healthy either and can result in serious, even fatal outcomes. This prompted Dr. Stein to create Daily Dental Care, LLC (dailydentalcares.com) and her Smart Mintz lozenge for people.
As a dog lover, Dr. Stein, brought her expertise in the bacteria and dental world to the world of pets. Teef! was created to promote a product designed to improve your dog's dental health. TEEF!’s initial product offering is a rapidly-dissolving water additive in powder form. The water delivery method is preferred because your dog gets a dose every time he takes a drink of water. Each slurp helps to evenly disperse TEEF! on all surfaces of the mouth, working on the bacteria that exists everywhere – even below the gum line. You might also try TEEF! in ice cubes for your pup. If you have ideas or suggestions for other creative ways to get your dog to drink TEEF!, please reach out to the TEEF! team today! If your pet isn't a big drinker, I suggested putting some in a sports bottle and squirting a small amount in their mouth throughout the day. Although TEEF! is safe for cats, they are also working on a formulation specifically for our feline friends. Horse lovers, they hope to have something available soon for your equine friends.
TEEF! is different from other dental care products because they've found that anti-microbial (killing ALL bacteria) is not a good solution for dental care. As a result, TEEF! is Pro-microbial. Nature created good, health-promoting bacteria essential to dental and overall health. TEEF! simply empowers those good bacteria to out-compete the bad bacteria for space in the mouth. This naturally balances the oral microbiome for a healthier mouth.
TEEF! donates 5% of their profits to organizations like Muttville and Animal Humane Society, organizations that promote the adoption of older dogs. Older dogs often have dental issues that may prevent them from getting adopted because of the cost of dental care or the negative health effects caused by bad teeth.
You can join the TEEF! mailing list, watch their video or check out their Frequently Asked Questions at TeefHealth.com.
Today's guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats was CEO and Founder of buzzn, Min An. Min is a pharmacist who recognizes the benefits of CBD oil for both people and pets. He has put his experience to work with buzzn, a company that produces CBD oil for both pets and their pet parents. CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid associated with numerous health and wellness benefits. All buzzn products are infuesed with broad-spectrum CBD derived from phytocannabionid-rich hemp cultivated in the USA.
Min shared lots of excellent information on buzzn's CBD Oil products, specifically Puppy Potion and Chill Bites. Puppy Potion is a 250 mg CBD oil tincture that is administered in liquid form. Chill Bites are CBD oil infused 2 mg treats for your pets. CBD oil has beneficial properties for all kinds of pets including dogs, cats and horses. Min recommends, "Start low and go slow." Although it is important to find the proper dose for your pet, it is unlikely your pet will ever experience a lethal overdose. Side effects can include loose stools, dry mouth, lowered blood pressure and drowsiness.
He also advises that the product should be given as a daily supplement, much like a multi-vitamin and not to get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. It can take several weeks or months to experience the full beneficial effects. One easy way to administer the CBD oil is by putting the proper dosage on their nose and letting them lick it off.
The American Kennel Club has posted an article, CBD Oil for Dogs: What you Need to Know. They have even commissioned a study through the Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomeical Sciences that will evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs.
You don't have to worry about your pet getting "high." Buzzn's products are tested by third party labs and have non-detectable levels of THC so there is no psychoactive effect.
Min has two dogs that take the buzzn products and enjoy Chill Bits as a daily treat. He told us about his dog, a Jindo rescued from a dog meat farm in Korea, that has lots of anxiety. Nothing was effective until Min tried the CBD oil Chill Bites and now his Jindo pup is unafraid, happy and enjoys interacting with people and other pets.
Buzzn's products are made in the USA, are organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, vegan and lab tested. They are also the most bioavailable, or absorbable, CBD in the industry. All of buzzn's products are pharmaceutical-grade, manufactured in a GMP-certified facility by the FDA. All products come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to ensure the products are crafted with the finest materials to ensure purity and consistency.
Today's guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats was Katrina Shadix, the founder and director of Bear Warriors United. Katrina is a second generation Floridian who grew up in rural Florida and spent her childhood appreciating nature and wildlife. After receiving a degree in environmental science and discovering it was hard to make a living "hugging a tree" or "saving an animal" she embarked on a mission save bears. This passion arose after the October 2015 Bear Hunt in Florida, after more than 21 years without a hunt. Katrina came face to face with a young bear, they locked eyes and she's been a bear advocate ever since! With her support there have been no more bear hunts in Florida.
Florida black bears are the only species of bear found in Florida. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) estimates there are approximately 4,050 black bears left in Florida. Katrina doesn't necessarily agree with this number because it is based on an extrapolation formula - the FWC analyzes bear hair that has been trapped in a "hair snare" - (say that five times fast) to determine the number of bears in Florida. Since less than 5% of the "snared hair" actually has follicle, she thinks the number of bears in Florida is substantially less than the reported number.
Hunting is not the only danger to bears. Bears are hit by cars when they travel from one habitat to another. Katrina also tells us there is a bear poaching problem in the Ocala National Forest where bears are killed illegally and their organs sold. She also told us that bears self-manage their populations through delayed implantation of embryos if the bear doesn't have sufficient nutrition and a good food source.
Many people think bears are a nuisance because they like to raid trash cans. The reality is that we are encroaching on their native lands, destroying their food source. Then, when we put out our trash cans full of delicious "junk food" the bears just can't resist. Bear proof trash cans can be expensive, as much as $300 per trash can. To overcome the cost of protecting bears, Katrina and a friend have designed a bear proof trash can latch that costs about $10. She is happy to accept donations but does not sell the trash can latches - instead, she gives them away to anyone who wants one! Katrina is also willing to talk to your HOA if you have a "bear problem" and help come up with a solution.
Katrina is also working with Republic, the trash collection contract holder for Oviedo, Florida. They have an automated trash pick up system that uses only one individual in the truck. They aren't able to get out and unlatch the bear proof latches. Katrina has been working with the CEO of Republic to come up with a solution where an additional person could ride on the truck to operate the bear latches. It's a win-win; both for the bears and Republic. The bears are safe, more jobs are created and there's good press. She says there are about 5,000 trash cans in our area that might be eligible for the bear proof latches. Congratulations and good luck to Katrina as she makes this goal a reality.
Katrina works closely with the FWC - she says they are doing a great job and have a lot of great programs teaching people how to become "bearwise." She says she will encourage them to continue their good work by being a "pebble in their shoe." She says we are lucky to have such good wildlife law enforcement in Florida - not all states or countries enjoy the protection Florida has.
If you want to learn more about black bears in Florida, please visit her on FaceBook. The bears of Florida represent the plight of all Floridians as our natural habitats give way to urban sprawl.
This week's guest, Julie Fershtman, is a VP/Shareholder of Foster Swift Collins Smith, PC, a law firm located in Michigan . Julie shared with us insights on the field of equine law. Julie is also the author of the, Equine Law Blog, highlighting much of the content from Fershtman’s more than 400 articles and three books. One of her websites is www.equinelaw.net.
Equine law is essentially any field of law that touches horses. It can be everything from Horses and Taxes to Regulatory Issues such as the recent controversy surrounding the challenge at the Kentucky Derby. Today’s conversation touched on three areas of law that Julie spends her time working on. These include: 1. Sales Disputes, 2. Liability Disputes, and 3. Insurance Disputes.
Sales disputes may arise when the parties contemplating the purchase and sale of a horse have failed to put that agreement in writing. Seems like a simple concept – if you are going to buy or sell something, get it in writing. Yet, when it comes to horses not everyone takes that advice. Julie suggested that all parties to a contract have legal representation and warned against do-it-yourself attempts to download a contract from the Internet. Each state will have its own nuances and requirements, such as Florida with its equine seller disclosure law. It’s best to have representation.
Liability disputes can occur when someone gets hurt in an equine-related activity. This could include a riding accident related to a lesson or pre-purchase ride or an organized group (like scouts) visiting an equine facility. Forty-eight (48) states have adopted some form of an equine activity liability law. The only states that don’t have these laws are California and Maryland. The state of Washington was the first to adopt such a law. Each state law varies in its language and requirements, so it is important to be aware of the provisions in the state where you live or plan to travel. With proper adherence to the law, liability for an equine related injury or death could potentially be avoided because of the dangers inherent in equine-related activities. A validly executed release form may provide protection for the horse owner, but the law can become complicated as to how they should be worded and how they work.
Considering all 48 states equine activity liability acts, six (6) exceptions can be found where an injured person might seek to impose liability. These exceptions, which are not found in all states, include:
Disputes related to equine mortality insurance have occurred. Equine insurance policies are roughly comparable to life insurance policies, with some major differences. Horses come in all shapes and sizes and participate in many different types of disciplines. Some horses are worth millions of dollars because of their training or breeding and others are priceless based on the love of their owners. Based on provisions commonly found in equine insurance policies, an insurance company might be justified in denying a claim if the horse owner fails to properly notify the company when the horse has becomes ill, has an injury, or dies. Giving insurance companies timely and proper notice can be complicated by the fact that some horse owners keep their horses in training or at boarding stables, where the horses are off-site and the owner might be unaware the horse is ill. Again, here’s where a contract can be important; it can impose notification responsibilities on the trainer or the boarding facility and provide contact information to do so.
We also touched on veterinary malpractice where an owner may have a claim because they believe their horse or other pet did not receive proper treatment and suffered an injury or died. Veterinary malpractice claims can be expensive and often the recovery, even if you win, is less than the amount spent to take the case to court. This doesn’t mean that legitimate cases shouldn’t be pursued but it is important to be aware of the potential costs of litigation versus the likelihood of recovery. Most state laws still consider our pets, including horses, to be personal property. Awards for pain and suffering and for emotional distress are the exception, not the rule, in animal-related cases.
Recovery in any kind of lawsuit is never guaranteed. The United States, unlike the United Kingdom, does not have the kind of legal system where winners of cases recover their attorneys’ fees from the non-winning (losing) party. In the United States, there are limited instances for the recovery of attorneys’ fees that include:
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision, not to be made lightly. Seek out a person you are comfortable with that either has or can obtain the specialized knowledge you require for any animal law related case. Many experienced attorneys can offer flat fees for certain services, such as the drafting of contracts. Most attorneys charge for their services on an hourly basis and not on a contingent fee basis. Make sure you know how you will be charged and sign an engagement letter setting out the terms of the representation.
Equine law is a growing area of the law that touches almost every single aspect of the law. If you own horses, make sure to include them as part of your estate plan. Create a pet trust that nominates a forever Pet Caregiver and make sure you leave sufficient resources for their lifetime care. You can also talk to us at Animal Care Trust USA. We can help you create a Pet Trust and act as Pet Trustee.
For more information on equine law related topics, visit equinelawblog.com.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Founder/CEO