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Judge Blocks Execution of Boots the Cat

By Edward Tan, JD on April 16, 2012 7:01 AM

One lucky feline has just been spared the eternal slumber of euthanasia. Boots the cat was slated to be put down according to her former owner's will, but an Illinois judge has blocked the execution.

The 11-year-old cat will be headed to her new home at Cats are Purrsons Too, a no-kill animal shelter in Chicago.

But why did Boots' former owner want the feline put down?

Georgia Lee Dvorak, Boots' deceased owner, was worried that the cat's old age would keep her from finding a good home once Dvorak died. See the long-haired tabby in all her feline glory at the end of this post.

Boots was abused in the past, neighbors said. So the decision to euthanize the cat was meant to be an act of mercy.

Dvorak didn't have any relatives when she died last December and her neighbors were allergic to cats. Her will stipulated that any felines she owned should be euthanized in "a painless, peaceful manner."

But once Dvorak's trustees at Fifth Third Bank got wind of the 76-year-old's wishes, they asked the court to let them find a nice long-term home for Boots instead.

Wills and trusts can be challenged for a number of reasons, such as lack of mental capacity and mistake. Heirs, beneficiaries, and trustees are usually the only parties that can bring such challenges.

In the case of Boots, it's likely the judge granted the change by interpreting Dvorak's actual intent for Boots in her will.

Dvorak left her entire $1.3 million estate to animal charities. Based on this, it'd be reasonable for a court to assume that she loved animals, including cats, a lot. And if a safe home for Boots the cat could found, Dvorak would probably prefer it over euthanasia.

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