For rich people who see their pets as family, it’s a no-brainer that they’d want their beloved companion to be happy and comfortable when they’re gone. These lucky animals inherit millions of dollars from their owners, sometimes way more than their deceased human relatives. Other times, there was simply no one else to share the wealth with. No matter the reason, it’s clear that these animals have access to money that most of us can only dream of. Below are five examples of some of the luckiest animals who inherited massive fortunes.
1. Gunther III and Gunther IV
When his owner Karlotta Liebenstein passed away, German Shepherd Gunther III became the sole beneficiary of the $65 million she left behind. Up until his death in 1992, Gunther III lived a life of luxury and comfort for several years. By then, the estate was now worth $200 million, and soon his son Gunther IV became the new, rich bachelor on the block. Today, Gunther IV is now worth a whopping $400 million, making him the richest dog in the world. Like his father before him, Gunther IV has mansions in Italy and the Bahamas, as well as maids and butlers who are more than happy to tend to his every bark and growl.
Gunther IV may be the world’s richest dog, but it’s Blackie who holds the Guinness World Record as the richest cat to ever live. His fortune may not be as much as Gunther IV’s, but $12.5 million or £7 million is still a lot of money. Blackie’s deceased owner, Ben Rea, split the money among three cat charity organizations on the sole condition that Blackie is well taken care of. Blackie was just one of Rea’s 15 cats, though he was only one to survive his master. Hopefully he can use it all up during his nine lives.
Cats and dogs aren’t the ones rolling around in money. In 2002, Gigoo the chicken received an impressive $15 million following the death of its owner, Miles Blackwell whose wife Brony had passed away just three weeks prior due to chemical sensitivity. Because he was their favorite chicken, it made sense that Gigoo would be the recipient of such a large inheritance. Though this was just a small chunk of the Blackwell’s wealth: the majority of it went to their charity organization who also set aside some cash to fund research into the chemical sensitivity that caused Brony’s death.
Tommasso’s story is one of rags-to-riches. He started out as a regular stray cat who lived in the streets before being taken in by a lonely and childfree widow named Maria Assunta. As there was no one else in her life, Maria willed the entirety of her estate, worth a total of $13 million to the lucky black cat. But because Italian laws prevent animals from inheriting estates, the inheritance was given to Maria’s former nurse Stefania, while Tommasso was listed as the beneficiary.
Trouble was the pride and joy of American business woman Leona “Queen of Mean” Helmsley, who passed away in August 2007. The bulk of her inheritance went to charity, with Trouble receiving $12 million, while her brother got only a few millions under the condition that he took care of the white Maltese dog. Two of her grandchildren were left $5 million each, while the other two were disinherited. The latter grandchildren took the matter to court who sided with them, and so, poor Trouble’s inheritance was cut down to just $2 million.
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