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Raleigh man leaves nearly $1.7 million estate to cat charities

Posted October 28, 2009
Updated October 29, 2009

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— A Raleigh cat-lover has left his nearly $1.7 million estate to area feline charities.

“He was very fond of cats and animals,” attorney Bobby Khot, with Wills Trusts and Estates, said of client Emil Campbell.

Khot said Campbell, who died suddenly last month, designated four cat charities to share his estate.

“It was like a gift from heaven,” said Lynn Jernigan, with Snowflake Animal Rescue. “I couldn't believe it. I opened the letter and I had to read it twice.”

Jernigan said her rescue group gets less than $6,000 a year in donations. The volunteer organization doesn’t even have a building of its own. However, the generous gift from Campbell could change that.

“We could certainly become a much larger rescue group if we had the facility,” Jernigan said.

cat Cat rescue groups get $1.7 million gift

“It's going to make a pretty big difference across the board, hopefully in the community here, especially,” said Carol De Olloqui, with Marley's Cat Tales.

Marley's Cat Tales, another group that provides health care and homes for cats, was also named a benefactor of Campbell's estate.

“A donation like this will allow us to spay or neuter as many animals as possible and make a difference in alleviating the problem of overpopulation,” Olloqui said.

SAFE Haven for Cats will also get a share of the money from Campbell.

In addition to the three main beneficiaries, Campbell also left money to Second Chance Pet Adoptions. The rescue group wasn’t aware yet of how much money it would receive, but said any amount was greatly appreciated.

“(He was) very frugal. He didn't work a job that paid him a lot of money, but he pinched his pennies and he saved his money,” Khot said of Campbell.

Campbell had one surviving daughter. Khot said she was not thrilled with the will, but a family friend said Campbell took care of his daughter outside of his estate.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Nov 3, 2009

    sweetsea, I disagree again. I earn my own living. This person who left his money to his beloved organizations earned his own living; not stolen or from selling illegal drugs. So it is up to him to decide how to use his own funds, even to the point of not giving it to his daughter. Again, this is between him and his daughter.

    If my parents do not leave me any money in their will when they pass on, I really do not care since it is not my money in the first place. I told them repeatedly to spent it now since they can't take it with them when they are gone. If they decide to give their money to their beloved charities, that would be real nice but again it is up to them, not me, to decide.

  • sweetsea Oct 30, 2009

    treat007 and farmgirl would be singing a different tune had their father left his entire estate to any organization. Of course I know that he did not leave money to a cat but cat organizations and as I stated, I like cats. Helmsley had issues and so did this gentleman. Helmsley was known nationwide to be vindictive and mean but this man may have just been eccentric. You two would beat a path to the courthouse to get it set aside had you been in the same situation as his daughter. Whether or not they got along does not warrant this bizarre action on his part. A substantial gift to the charities would have sufficed. If he had grandchildren then it would be even worse.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Oct 30, 2009

    sweetsea, your comment about Leona Helmsley does not make sense. Emil Campbell did not put his own cat in the will to receive the money ... it went to four different organizations. Plus, there are obvious issues between Emil Campbell and his daughter, and that is a personal matter between them. It is not our place to judge where he should have placed his earned income, whether to give to his daughter or to other organizations.

  • Farmgirlnc Oct 30, 2009

    She can't take it to court. The money was donated to real organizations...not given to a single cat.

  • sweetsea Oct 29, 2009

    I like cats and a nice donation to the cat charities would have been fine but this was ridiculous. If I were his daughter I would go to court and have this set aside. It is obvious that he had issues much like Leona Helmsley, the hotel queen, who left her entire fortune to her dog. Her kids got it changed as it should have been with the dog being well cared for and the rest going to family.

  • Farmgirlnc Oct 29, 2009

    I love all these haters on GOLO talking junk about the cats like they have nothing better to do with their boring lives. I'm very happy this guy did this. His money went to a great cause. And yes I am one of those psyco vegetarian animal loving freaks. Wanna really hate me??? I love the planet too. Doesn't that just tick you off. hahahahaha (evil laugh) ;)

  • rescuefan Oct 29, 2009

    "citizen782, what may I ask have you done that could compete with the good works our local churches have done? When your resume comes close to matching the good people from these churches, your church complaints might have merit.

    I'm just happy this stupid article is finally off of the Home Page.

    May I ask what you have done in the way of charity? You seem to think that you have the right to ask someone else, so I am asking you. Do you actually donate time or money, or do you just complain about where someone else donates their time and money?

    I am just glad that this man had more compassion for God's creatures than some of the posters here.

  • Mustang Sally Oct 29, 2009

    whoo hooo. let's hear it for the puzzycats

  • bubbba Oct 29, 2009

    I like cats but dogs are more like me. I had a big fat orange cat that liked to get in cars. One day UPS driver came by and Roscoe my cat got in the UPS truck while he delivered my package. About 3 hours later UPS driver comes back and delivers my cat.
    He said Roscoe just rode around with him for awhile.
    Roscoe was a funny cat. I kept finding pink fish in my backyard.
    I would always look up at the sky, then I would think back to my college days and wish I didnt party so much. Finally I had to show the fish to my wife to make sure I wasnt losing it. Fish really were falling from the sky. A few fish later my neighbor comes down the street with my cat and said Roscoe has been eating his Koe fish from his garden pond for several months now. Cost me 200 bucks for the fish. Roscoe finally got in the wrong person car and I lost him ...I loved that fat cat.
    I used to leave for work and he would sitting on the top of my neighbors Mercedes like it was his throne.

  • WRALblows Oct 29, 2009

    I hate cats.