Confusion of names befuddles bequests

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2005:


Hunter Vernon D. Lybolt Jr., 57, of
Forest, Virginia, born and raised in New York,
unmarried with no children, siblings, or living
parents, died in July 2004, leaving his
$600,000 estate to the “Bedford County ASPCA
Animal Shelter.” The estate is now claimed by
the Bedford Humane Society, the county-managed
Bedford Animal Shelter, the New York City-based
American SPCA, and a coalition of 13 relatives.
As result of a similar case, in which
the Royal SPCA of Great Britain received £250,000
from a Scots estate, the Scottish SPCA recently
surveyed 10,000 donors and found that 87% had
mistakenly donated to the RSPCA. Founded in
1839, one year before the former London Humane
Society became the RSPCA, the SSPCA endured a
cash flow crisis in 2002 that had the trustees
threatening to lay off staff and close seven of
13 regional rescue centers.
Hoping to clear up the confusion, the
SSPCA on August 1, 2005 introduced new colors
and a new logo.

Similar actions have had mixed results
for other animal charities. Called the National
Canine Defence League from 1891 until October
2003, Dogs Trust seems to have changed names
with no adverse consequences. American Humane,
on the other hand, is still mostly mentioned in
print as the American Humane Association, as it
was known for 127 years, and is still often
confused with both the American SPCA, 10 years
older, and the Humane Society of the U.S.,
begun by former AHA staff in 1954.

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