1    Jun 20128 comments

Pets: Part of the family?

girlwithdogMany of us have pets, and we feel an incredible affinity with them.

We love them as family members, take them on trips and integrate them into our daily routines.

The most popular family pets are dogs and cats.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 39% of all American households own at least one dog, while 33% own at least one cat. In the UK, the PFMA notes that 46% of homes have a pet and of those, dogs account for 22%, cats 18%.

Technically, a family tree is a place for human relatives, and a human cannot be physically related to a pet. However, there are numerous stories of people including their pets in their last will and testament.

Maria Assunta (Italy) left $13 milion to her cat. Countess Karlotta Libenstein (Germany) left $106 million to her German shepherd, Gunther III. And if that's not bizarre enough, by the time Gunther IV was born, via some clever investments by trustees, the inheritance had grown to $372 million.

But what if you feel that your dog is part of the family? If your dog walks down the aisle at family weddings, if it is in all of your holiday photos and goes everywhere with you, how do you acknowledge their place?

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