Bank Saves Cat’s Life From Euthanization Stipulated in Terms of Owner’s Will

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Animal lover Georgia Lee Dvorak, of Berwyn, IL stipulated in her will that any cats outliving her be euthanized after her death. Fifth and Third bank took the matter to court and found a suitable no-kill shelter to care for Boots instead. Ms. Dvorak left her estate to animal causes.

Georgia Lee Dvorak left a will drawn up over 20 years ago when she died a few months ago. Trust officers at Fifth and Third bank felt uncomfortable having 11 year old Boots, the only remaining cat, euthanized so took the matter to probate court after finding an alternative arrangement for her care.  Lawyers for the bank argued that it would violate public policy to have a pet put down when there was a suitable alternative. The court accepted the argument, and Boots will go to Chicago no-kill shelter Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too.

Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too began as a safe haven in the home of Sister Marijon Binder for cats that elderly neighbors could no longer keep because of changing life situations. As word spread, “neighbors” from all over Chicago and the Northern/Northwest suburbs began to call begging for board for their beloved companion cats during a short term hospital or nursing home stay, and to keep them if the person died. Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too operates a program called Touched by an Animal, where volunteers help the elderlynd disabled care for their companion animals in their homes in whatever way is needed so that they can continue living together.

Given the shelter’s dedication to taking the pets of the elderly, it was the perfect fit for this case. Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too asked for $2,000 to take Boots and care for her for the rest of her days. $1,000 came from the estate and the bank gave the other $1,000.

Ms. Dvorak gave her $1.4 million estate to charities mentioned in her 1988 will, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Defenders of Wild Life, Nature Conservancy, Animal Protective Institute, Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago’s Animal Welfare League, the Humane Society of the United States and the World Wildlife Fund.

It has been said that, given her love of animals, Ms. Dvorak would want to see Boots live and be well cared for. Her interest in PETA, may indicate otherwise, but the truth will never be known. Boots will be safe, nevertheless. The Chicago Tribune story, which is the source for reports, gives details on the case and tells of Boots’ early history of abuse before she came to live with Ms. Dvorak.



5 thoughts on “Bank Saves Cat’s Life From Euthanization Stipulated in Terms of Owner’s Will”

  1. I agree, and I’m sure that was a great concern of the owner. I can understand what she was thinking….that nobody could love and care for her pet as much as she did, and the fear that her pet would either become a stray or put into an abusive situation after her death. I’d rather my own cat, who I love dearly, be put down than live out her days caged, or worse, placed into an abusive home. not sure how I feel about this lady’s will not being honored. I pray that Boots has a happy life, well taken care of and loved.

  2. A lot of people don’t seem to realize there are worse things than death for a pet. They aren’t afraid to die and I’ve seen many animals go via euthanasia, it is fast and using our method where I worked, appears very peaceful. Is there a moment of discomfort? I am sure there is, but years of living in a cage or with a neglectful owner is miserable.

    I am not sure about this woman’s wishes not being carried out. If this poor animal has to live in a cage for the rest of it’s life, receiving little attention after living in a home with a doting cat mother, I’m not sure this is such a success after all.

    At the end of the day, a cat is not a human, a dog is not a human, a horse is not a human…does this mean we don’t take care of animals, we don’t love them? Absolutely not. We love our companion animals and we must foster a high standard of care for them. But what I see most often is pet owners projecting their human emotions on their pets; pets are not afraid of death, and they have no foresight that “hey maybe I will get out of this cage someday”- it’s just a slow, boring existence. I’ve seen more than a few cats sit in a cage waiting for adoption and fading into what looks like a depression, a hopelessness…I would NEVER want that for one of my cats.

  3. I highly doubt that he will live in a cage. and who the hell would give money to PETA? she was obviously confused as to her mission…

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