The Quick 10: 10 Pets Worth More Than You

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I’m making an assumption here - maybe I should add a qualifier: 10 animals that are probably worth more than you.

1. Trouble, a white Maltese worth $2 million. In one of the most famous bequeathments ever, Leona Helmsley left somewhere in the ballpark of $12 million to her dog. After the dog’s caretaker stated that $2 million would be more than enough to luxuriously look after Trouble for 10 years, a judge downgraded the inheritance to that sum instead. The $2 million includes $100,000 annually for full-time security; $8,000 annually for grooming; $1,200 for food; and a $60,000 salary for Trouble’s caretaker.

2. Gunther IV, a German Shepard worth $372 million. Gunther IV is a total trust fund baby. His dad, Gunther III, left him the cash, which he had inherited from his owner, German countess Karlotta Liebenstein. Gunther’s extravagant purchases include a rare white truffle valued at about $1,600; a villa in Miami that once belonged to Madonna; and possibly an Italian soccer team. It has been speculated that Gunther is simply a hoax created to generate publicity for the Gunther Corporation.

3. Tinker, a former stray cat worth more than $1 million – a $226,000 trust fund and a house worth about $800,000. When elderly widow Margaret Layne died in 2003, she decided to leave her possessions to the thing that had provided her the most comfort in her later years: her cat. The $200,000 trust fund is used to provide daily deliveries of fresh milk and food; he gets the house for 21 years or until he dies, whichever comes first. After that, his caretakers receive the three-bedroom house. Tinker can’t even appreciate his house, though – he had to be moved to a secret location after he received death threats from people who wanted his money. It’s tough being a filthy rich feline, isn’t it?

4. Sunny, Lauren, Sadie, Sophie and Solomon, worth $30 million. This pack belongs to none other than Oprah Winfrey, who has left them the astronomical sum in her will so that they may be well taken care of in the event of her death.

5. Kalu, a chimpanzee worth about $80 million. Australian heiress Patricia O’Neill left her entire fortune, including a mansion in Cape Town, South Africa, to her pet chimpanzee. Her husband, a former Olympic swimmer named Frank O’Neill, had reportedly taken a dislike to the chimp when it started stealing his liquor and cigarettes. I guess $80 million will buy a lot of Marlboros, so I suppose Frank doesn’t have to worry about his stash going missing anymore.

6. Big Tibby, a tortoise worth $80,000. Tortoises can live a long time, you know, so I guess it’s good that he has a pile of money to get him through his twilight years. His owner, Donald Moss, owned a mattress company in Stockport, England. OK, so Big Tibby may not be richer than you. But for a tortoise, I’d say he’s doing OK.

7. Flossie, a yellow lab mix that was worth $3 million. After her dog Flossie saved her life by alerting her to a fire, Drew Barrymore rewarded the dog with a house. In case she passed before Flossie, Drew wanted to make sure she lived the rest of her doggie years out in comfort. Sadly, Flossie died earlier this year at the age of 16, but Barrymore has since gotten a new dog. Maybe Douglas will inherit the house, if he’s lucky.

8. Gigoo, a hen worth £10 million. A publishing mogul named Miles Blackwell left his pet hen this exorbitant amount of money after his wife died, figuring he had no one else to leave the money to. Is it just me, or is picking a random name from a phone book better than leaving a hen that much chicken feed?

9. Toby Rimes, a poodle worth $48 million. Oh, another trust fund dog. Toby has just inherited the money from his dad and granddad – the money was originally left to Ella Wendel’s pet poodle in 1931. At the time, the poodle’s net worth was a mere$24 million, but smart investments have doubled the funds. That’s good. I’d hate to see Toby suffer in this economy.

10. Keiko, a killer whale worth at least $35 million. Thanks in part to his starring role in the Free Willy movies, Keiko was estimated to be worth at least $35 million when he died in 2003 after beaching himself. When you’re worth that kind of money, shouldn’t you have handlers that prevent you from doing that? Just saying…

Would you guys leave money to your pets in your will? I can see leaving a reasonable amount of money to contribute to their care, but millions? I can’t quite get behind that, not when there are any number of worthwhile charities to contribute to.

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November 1, 2010 - 1:28pm
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