Rick Cupp, associate dean for research and the John W. Wade Professor of Law, published an op-ed titled "Now we can provide for a pet's future" about California legislation regarding companion animals in the Sacramento Bee. The article was published on August 17. Read the article here.
Writes Cupp, "California legislation recently signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recognized changing attitudes toward companion animals by allowing us to leave money for the care of our pets when we die. This strikes close to home for me, as I suffered the loss of my much-beloved dog, Shasta, last month."
Cupp talks about what would have happened to Shasta had he died first: an 'honorary trust' would have bequeathed a relatively small sum to friends to pay for expenses in taking care of Shasta. The friends would not have been legally obliged to spend the money on Shasta's needs.
"California's new law ensures that pet owners' wishes are carried out rather than leaving them to the good faith of an honorary trustee," writes Cupp. "In effect, the law allows a bequest to pets to be formal and enforceable rather than merely an informal moral obligation."
The article delves into the moral issues surrounding the new law and whether it advances equivalence between animals and humans.
In addition to publishing numerous law review articles, Cupp writes extensively about moral issues surrounding animal law and has frequently participated in conferences, symposia, and media interviews addressing tort law and animal law issues.