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California 'Cat Daddy' leaves $800k to humane society to care for cats

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A San Rafael, California real estate agent knew that he couldn't take his estate with him - so the animal lover ensured that cats in need would be the beneficiary of his wealth. The Contra Costa Times reported today that Brian Russell Kirchoff, 63, left the lion's share of his $1 million estate to the Marin Humane Society for the care of cats.

Kirchoff, of San Rafael, California, died after suffering a heart attack in 2013. He left a six-page handwritten will delegating the administration of his estate. After his home, Porsche, and other assets were sold off, the document stated that "any cash proceeds left shall be donated to the Marin Humane Society for the express benefit and use of their cat fund for the benefit of all the cats which come into their care."

According to county finance chief Roy Given, the Marin Humane Society will receive a check in September for $589,427. This payment is in addition to a $400,000 IRA that will be split between the Asian Art Museum and the Humane Society.

"It's the first time I've seen that kind of money go to an organization on behalf of cats," stated Given.

"We are thrilled," said John Reese, chief operating officer of the society. Reese stated that it was among the highest bequests in recent years.

He added: "We live in an enlightened community that gives graciously."

Kirchoff, who was a bachelor, called himself "Cat Daddy" when talking about his beloved cats, Tarka and Chelsea. The cats are now at the Santa Rosa animal sanctuary Brighthaven, which received $20,000 for their care. Brighthaven's Lifetime Care Program provides either lifetime holistic care in their Sanctuary or placement in a BrightHaven Rescue foster home, pending adoption, in exchange for a person's bequest.

The Marin Humane Society, which was founded in 1907, provides support services, refuge, and rehabilitation, to more than 10,000 domestic animals and wildlife each year. The organization has a number of community services, including adoptions, foster care, lost-and-found pet services, humane education, behavior and training, pet assistance for people in need, and low-cost clinics.

This organization is Marin County’s only open-door shelter: they accept every animal in need of their help, regardless of age, health, or temperament. The 501(c)(3) is a localized, independent organization located in Novato, California, that is not a chapter or affiliate of any national organization.

In 2013, Marin Humane Society found homes for 1,045 cats and kittens and 24% (169) of the 707 stray cats received were reunited with their guardians. During 2013, 473 small companion and farm animals went to adoptive homes and they placed 705 dogs and puppies into new homes. Of the 786 stray dogs received, 75% (591) were redeemed by their guardians.

Kirchoff's bequest was one of 19 that the Humane Society received in 2013 - and every donation to this organization helps animals in need have a second chance at life and love.

To learn more about the Marin Humane Society, visit their website here. To make a donation to them, click here.

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