Local News

Raleigh man leaves nearly $1.7 million estate to cat charities

Posted October 28, 2009 11:02 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2009 5:20 a.m. EDT

— 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.

“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.