10 Millionaire Pets
Author Louis Sabin once said, “No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.” In that case, wealthy people with pets must really have it all! Or do they? According to Russ Alan Prince, the president of market research firm Prince & Associates, “For some wealthy people, the only true love they get is from their pets.” This may shed some light as to why some rich animal lovers have turned their pets into hairy heirs. Check out these millionaire pets.
Some owners are so crazy about their pets, they bequeath the animals millions of dollars. Read on for more millioniare pets.
1. Millionaire Pets: Gunther IV (German Shepherd), $372 million
Gunther IV, a German Shepherd, is supposedly a millionaire pet-but not everyone buys the story. Rumour has it that German countess Karlotta Liebenstain left her furry friend Gunther III an inheritance of $124 million after she died in 1992. Following Gunther III’s death, his son, Gunther IV, inherited his father’s fortune, which has grown to a whopping $372 million! Apparently, in July 2000, agents acting on Gunther IV’s behalf bought Madonna‘s eight-bedroom Miami villa. Then, in 2001, Gunther appeared with two members of his staff at an auction in northern Italy, where he successfully bid three million lira for a truffle. Many media members suspect this to be an elaborate publicity stunt.
2. Millionaire Pets: Kalu (Chimpanzee), $80 million
Kalu is a chimpanzee and millionaire pet. Kalu was rescued in 1985 by Patricia O’Neill, wife of former Olympic swimming star Frank O’Neill. In 2000, O’Neill changed her will so that Kalu would inherit her estate near Cape Town, which is estimated at $80 million. Apparently, her husband has never been much of a fan of the chimp, still holding a grudge after he found Kalu smoking one if his cigarettes and drinking his beer.
3. Millionaire Pets: Toby Rimes (Poodle), $92 million
Toby is the descendant of a poodle that inherited $30 million in 1931 after the death of his New York owner, Ella Wendel. The latest in a succession of pampered pooch heirs, Toby has a fortune now worth $92 million. Talk about millionaire pets!
5. Millionaire Pets: Eddie from Frasier (Jack Russell Terrier), $3.2 million
Check out this famous millionaire pet. Moose, the celebrity Jack Russell Terrier most famous for his role as Eddie on the television sitcom Frasier, earned around $10,000 per episode, for a net worth of approximately $3.2 million. Apparently, Moose received more fan mail than any of his human counterparts. Moose passed on in June of 2006.
6. Millionaire Pets: Flossie (Labrador), $3 million
Take a look at this millionaire pet. Actress Drew Barrymore rescued her Yellow Labrador Flossie at a flea market. As if returning the favour, Flossie saved Barrymore and her then-husband Tom Green from a fire in the couple’s home. As a reward for Flossie’s bravery, the dog is now the proud owner of a $3 million estate in Beverly Hills, which she shares with Barrymore.
7. Millionaire Pets: Trouble Helmsley (Maltese), $2 million
This millionaire pet is one lucky maltese. Dubbed the “Queen of Mean,” Leona Helmsley, who passed away in 2007, was the wife of New York City hotel operator and investor Harry Helmsley. Perhaps most infamous for telling a housekeeper that “only the little people pay taxes,” Leona also disinherited her two grandchildren and left a $12 million trust fund for her pet Maltese, “Trouble.”
Following Leona’s death, however, the New York State Attorney General’s Office reduced Trouble’s trust fund from $12 million to $2 million. Trouble now resides in Florida with Clark Lekic, the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. Trouble’s annual expenses include $60,000 in guardian fees, $100,000 for round-the-clock security, $8,000 for grooming, $3,000 for miscellaneous expenses, $1,200 for food and anywhere from $2,500 to $18,000 for medical care.
8. Millionaire Pets: Bubbles (Chimpanzee), $2 million
Check out this famous millionaire pet. Michael Jackson‘s former beloved pet chimpanzee Bubbles, whom the King of Pop called his first son, was left a $2 million inheritance to “secure a long-term future.” As close as two friends could be, Bubbles apparently slept in Jackson’s bedroom in a crib, ate at the dining room table, and would use Jackson’s own toilet. In the 2003 documentary Living with Michael Jackson, the musician revealed to journalist Martin Bashir that Bubbles had become too aggressive, and had to be moved to an animal sanctuary over fears he would attack Jackson’s newborn son, Prince Michael II.
9. Millionaire Pets: Hellcat and Brownie (Cats), $4.1 million
Dr. William Grier left his cats Brownie and Hellcat $415,000 each after he died. Another of Dr. Grier’s cats, Charlie, received $250,000. Brownie and Hellcat have since passed away, although their fortunes have grown to a value of $4.1 million. These cats are millionaire pets!
10. Millionaire Pets: Tinker (Cat), $1 million
Tinker’s life has certainly been the cat’s meow. In true rags-to-riches form, Tinker was a stray black tomcat that would regularly visit an old widow named Margaret Layne. For his loyalty, the 89-year-old, who passed away in 2003, named neighbours Eugene and Ann Wheatley to manage a $226,000 trust fund on Tinker’s behalf. Under the terms of her will, this millionaire pet owns Layne’s three-bedroom house in Harrow, Middlesex, worth almost $800,000. However, in the case that 1) the kitty cat goes roaming and never returns 2) the kitty dies or 3) 21 years pass, the house and money will go to the trustees: Ann and Eugene.