Boots Walks: Illinois Court Spares Cat After Deceased Owner Ordered Cat Killed As Part Of Will

In Illinois, Boots has walked from a bizarre death sentence. Boots was the pet of Georgia Lee Dvorak of Berwyn, Illinois. When Dvorak died, she specified in her will that 11-year-old Boots should be put to death. However, the executor of her $1.3 million will — the Fifth Third Bank — could not get themselves to euthanize the friendly cat. So they went to court and got the language set aside in a rare judicial intervention.

Dvorak was actually a huge animal lover and left most of her money to animal charities. She rescued Boots from an abusive home and was fearful that the cat would be abused again. Rather than risk it, she wanted Boots euthanized. It was a curious order since, with a large estate, it would have been easy to specify an alternative arrangement.Bank senior president Jeffrey Schmidt said that the bank had found a loving home and didn’t want to euthanize this healthy, living animal.” Bank officials also donated cat supplies and food to Boots’ new home, a cage-free sanctuary in Andersonville.

I am trying to find the order or motion in the case. It raises an interesting question of the limits of a person in specifying conditions in a will. It is not clear from reports if the court found that provision unconscionable or whether the court found that the testator’s intent was better served by the home established for Boots. While animals are property, they have more protections than a sofa. It is not clear that a testator can order the killing of a healthy pet like some Viking King surrounded by horses and dogs. While Dvorak had the best motivations, it is unclear if such an order can be enforced. We have many Chicago readers so if anyone has more information on how the Cat got out of the bag, let us know.

Source: CBS

34 thoughts on “Boots Walks: Illinois Court Spares Cat After Deceased Owner Ordered Cat Killed As Part Of Will”

  1. or 5th/3rd is trying to entice cat owners leaving BoA to go to them

    either way the cat’s okay

  2. My dad was a banker in a small town.He was well liked and respected by many a townsfolk and especially widows. With the exception of the kindergarten teacher, my dad daily received more hugs and kisses on the cheek than any other person in town. We took in several “orphaned” pets over the years He got out of banking when it got too hard to be kind.

  3. I agree with Woosty’s take. I’ll bet money, humaneness influenced the bank’s decision and I’ve had cats since 1966.

  4. sorry anon….wish it were so……fact is nothing I related is in simple comparison to Hitlers misdeeds. It, sadly, is factually and tangibly experienced when I volunteered at a wildlife rehab, on site at a local shelter. Tho we did make the conscious connection to the similarities….it was impossible not to…

    what is derpness?

  5. Turley’s Law:

    P(Turley Commenters will approach oo derpness) is f(length of thread) and in general a monotonically increasing number.

    Therefore Turley’s Law is actually isomorphic to Godwin’s Law.

  6. I question that this 11 year old cat was truly the source of such ‘compassion’ from either bankers or a court. Given the number of ‘euthanasias’ done every day, given the manner in which human beings are treated by these people….this story gets fishier and fishier.

    Would this response be elicited if the cat did not come from an estate valued at over a million dollars? I think not. This cat was a clever piece of fur to hang a show on….and while all this show was going on….my bet is the billing was going on as well. From ALL these so very very very compassionate people….

  7. I know there are terrible ‘shelters’. It sounds as though you are [presupposinjg this is the case. Here we have, as an example Kitty Cottage where the cats are treated very, very well.

    I would agree with the ‘feel good happy ending’ of this story ….where a womans will was broken after her wishes made known legally (was $$$$$ also involved?)
    That makes it sound as though you think the will should not have been broken and the animal euthanized. It is an either or, either they kill the cat or they find a place for it.

    if a bank officer actually stepped up and took this animal home and assurred the out come was not superficial and precedential…or better yet, let him live at the office ….where there is lots of company and affection …

    Some people hate animals, especially cats, some are allergic, etc. Taking it home may have presented legal problems, did the bank/bank officer have a conflict of interest – it might certainly cause people to think he was looking for dollars.

  8. This was a pretty good outcome, given the circumstances seems the options were limited, and even less so until the bank objected.

    ——————————
    I worked onsite of a shelter….there were piles of animal corpes akin to the bodies in concentration camps on a daily basis. The animals would watch as thier cage mates were taken and ‘euthanized’ and thern tossed to the pile till they could be cremated later in the day. Ash fell in the evening but the acrid smell was always present. It is a high stress environment for any animal but a pampered 11 year old cat will be challenged in a situation such as this.
    I would agree with the ‘feel good happy ending’ of this story ….where a womans will was broken after her wishes made known legally (was $$$$$ also involved?) if a bank officer actually stepped up and took this animal home and assurred the out come was not superficial and precedential…or better yet, let him live at the office ….where there is lots of company and affection …

  9. When my friend died friends tried to find a loving home for her cats. They
    could not fit in with the few they tried and the animals ended up being euthanized, one barely out of kittenhood.
    Hopefully the bank checked out the place but sometimes that is the only option (and I would think a bank officer is not going to be spending a lot of time with checking to see if the first home he might have found worked out, and if not the second and so on.)
    This was a pretty good outcome, given the circumstances seems the options were limited, and even less so until the bank objected.
    (And I agree with dars but it is apples and oranges, this is a nice story and outcome as stories and outcomes go.

  10. Jeffrey Schmidt said that the bank had found a loving home and didn’t want to euthanize this healthy, living animal.” Bank officials also donated cat supplies and food to Boots’ new home, a cage-free sanctuary in Andersonville.
    —————————
    I mirror dars’ observation….also, having seen some ‘sanctuaries’ I don’t
    know that they didn’t simply make her fears come true…..I’d be more impressed if they found a real live actual loving home…

  11. Well, good for boots! As “dar” mentioned perhaps this could be expanded to include the Americans who have been or will be subjected to foreclosures by the criminal banking system.

  12. curious,is it not-some say that 70% of bank foreclosures are illegal
    -millions of lives destroyed…ah, but the life of one splendid moggy…

  13. Our cat while I was in high school, college and thereafter, was named “Boots”. Nuff said.

  14. When my mom was born she was very ill and doctors told my grandparents she wouldn’t live a year. One of her great aunts had terminal cancer at the time and didn’t have long to live. The story is she went to my grandfather and told them that when she died he should smother his new baby so that she could be buried in the coffin with the aunt. That way she would not go into the after-life alone. Since mom died a couple of years ago at 86 I guess grandpa didn’t take her up on the offer which I am sure she tought of as a kindness.

    People have odd fears about death.

  15. Talking Dog…… That was funny…. Andersonville a very safe and sterile place for the rebellious individuals…..

    I just wonder how much the bank charged the estate……

  16. And as a Civil War afficionado I dont think that Andersonville is an appropriate place to place a cat with the intent that it be fed.

  17. One life down, eight to go. I always wondered how the Fifth got in front of the Third in that bank. I think it was the Third Bank located on Fifth Avenue but I could be mistaken.

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