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The HSUS Applauds Md. House of Delegates for Passing Bill to Allow Pet Trusts

Group Urges Senate to Approve H.B. 149

The Humane Society of the United States

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Humane Society of the United States applauds lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates for passing H.B. 149, which allows the creation of trusts for the long term care of pets. The bill was introduced by Delegate Wade Kach, R-5B, co-sponsored by Delegate John Olszewski, D-6, and had the strong support of House Judiciary Chairman Delegate Joseph F. Vallario, D-27A.

The House of Delegates approved H.B. 149 Thursday by a vote of 105 to 28. The Humane Society of the United States is calling on the Maryland Senate to quickly pass the bill and send it to Gov. Martin O'Malley's desk.

"For thousands of Marylanders who, like me, consider their pets akin to family members, this legislation offers piece of mind that the arrangements we make for our animals will be legally binding," Delegate Kach said. "I hope my colleagues in the Senate will act quickly to pass this important legislation."

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia allow pet owners to establish trusts to ensure the lifelong care of their companion animals. As part of their estate planning in these jurisdictions, individuals can assign a permanent guardian for their pets and make provisions for veterinary care, food, water and companionship. H.B. 149 would create peace of mind for Maryland pet owners and — in a nation that still euthanizes 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats each year for lack of homes — a vital safety net for their pets. 

"We are grateful to Maryland lawmakers for recognizing the important bond between people and pets, and advancing this common-sense public policy to help people plan for their pets' future," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The HSUS. "Maryland pet owners deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing our beloved companion animals will not be abandoned or euthanized if they outlive us. By encouraging personal responsibility and preparedness, we can also ensure that the state does not bear the financial burden of sheltering and euthanizing more pets."

Two-thirds of American households have pets, and as many as 25 percent have included pets in their wills. 

To learn more about pet trusts, please click here.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.