Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | 12:46 p.m. CDT;
updated 2:01 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Growing numbers of pet owners in Missouri are including their pets in their wills through trusts or other means, according to lawyers who create those provisions. In 2004, Missouri became one of 40 states to allow a pet to be the beneficiary of a trust.
Neal Cohen and his wife, Jackie, are planning a project that would, in part, create a lifetime care program for animals whose owners have died or are going into nursing homes that cannot take pets.
Titus and Kitten lounge on the couch at the Cohen's house on Wednesday morning. The Cohen's rescued both animals off the street. They are two of the more than 50 animals on the property.
Neal Cohen goes on a walk with four of his pets, Nigel, Gordon, Seymour, and Rocket. Cohen and his wife are making plans to leave their land and a sum of money for the establishment of a lifetime care center for pets whose owners have died, including their own.
With his dog Rocket perched on the console, Neal Cohen points out a dog-breeding facility near his house north of Springfield on Wednesday afternoon. Rocket had run away from a nearby facility when Cohen's wife, Jackie, found him wandering the back roads near their home. Jackie negotiated a purchase price for Rocket.
Neal and Jackie Cohen relax with their dog Titus in their sun room on Wednesday afternoon. Jackie is Cohen's second wife, and the pair have been married for 25 years. Jackie has five children.
Neal Cohen talks to his Great Dane Nigel on his property north of Springfield. As a psychologist, Cohen believes strongly in mutual therapeutic benefit in relationships between humans and animals.