And while “my dogs are a part of everything I do,” he says Lusk was the one who pushed him in the animal law direction. In 2009, the Maryland legislature helped by enabling the creation of trusts for pets.
How these trusts actually work out in practice, Thienel doesn’t yet know. They’ve only been in existence here three years, and he hasn’t had one go to probate yet.
It’s all part of estate planning, which is one of his specialties. However, most of the pet-related work the firm does involves neighborhood issues, representing homeowner associations regarding what each one may permit or exclude -- any pets at all, what size and breed, how many, fencing, what kind and how high, keeping pets chained, breeding them and so on.