Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pets need care after you die

What happens when a pet owner dies before their beloved animal?

Keenan Knopke, president of Curlew Hills Memory Gardens Pet Cemetery, says it all depends on the plan in place.

About 70 area residents will learn how to make that plan when they attend an estate planning seminar, sponsored by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Tampa Bay and the Curlew Hills Pet Cemetery, from noon to 2 p.m. today at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Featured speakers Knopke and St. Petersburg attorney Cynthia Orozco will address traditional issues relating to estate planning, as well as how to plan for the future of a pet after the owner's death.

Knopke said our four-legged friends often get overlooked when people are planning for the end.

"People do plan for themselves. They are aware of trusts and the need to make family members aware of their final wishes," he said. "But people can preplan and should preplan for their pets."

Knopke said he's seen many grieving family members struggle over what to do with their loved one's pet after they pass, and having a plan in place can relieve at least one stress during a difficult time.

"We're going to talk about getting your house in order. Pets are as much a part of the family today as people and they shouldn't be left behind," he said.

Nora Hawkins, marketing director for the SPCA, said people often assume a friend or family member will take care of their pets and the animals end up at the shelter.

"None of us likes to think about not being here," she said. "People just don't realize that there are better ways to set up a caretaker for their pets."

Hawkins said a change in state law in 2003 made it easier to set up trusts to provide for the care of animals, and helps protect pet owners from unscrupulous people who would take money promising to care for the animal and not follow through.

Still, most people aren't aware of their options and fail to plan, she said.

Although there is no more seating available for the free seminar, anyone interested in estate planning for their pets can order a free brochure from the SPCA, which includes information on state laws, funding options and a planning checklist.

To order call (727) 581-3249 or online at

Pets need care after you die 04/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 7:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after:Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season


    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2 1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    But he can use his last few outings to remind the Rays, and himself, of how good he can be.
    He did it the hard way Thursday, allowing three runs as four of the …

  2. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
  3. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more


    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  4. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles


    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]
  5. Photo of the Day for September 22, 2017 - Willets taking flight

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Cleary of Madeira Beach, FL.