If you’ve ever owned a pet, it’s easy to understand how people come to think of them as family. Some people treat them like children, pampering them and taking care of them as best they can.
So what happens to your pets after you die? It has become increasingly common for people to set up trusts for their furry friends to make sure they’re being well taken care of after their owners have passed on.
For some, pets have inherited entire fortunes. Here are just five of some of the richest animals on earth.
1. Gunther IV
The original dog who inherited his owner’s millions is actually Gunther III.
When the German Countess Karlotta Liebenstein died in 1991, she left her entire estate (over $80 million) to her German Shepherd, Gunther III. It turns out Gunther III had a pup, who is next in line to inherit what is now over $375 million. That’s enough for 12.5 million bags of dog food for them to eat in their various mansions across the world - although it’s doubtful they’re dining on anything less than premium steaks.
Before Tommaso the cat became a millionaire, it was living on the streets of Rome. Maria Assunta, the widow of a successful Italian property agent, rescued the cat. When she died at the age of 94, she left $13 million and various properties in Italy to Tommaso, who is being taken care of by Assunta’s nurse.
These days, $13 million will buy you 1.3 million bags of catnip.
Simply put: Gigoo is the world’s richest chicken.
When Miles Blackwell, a successful publisher, died at the age of 56, he left his hen Gigoo a cool $15 million. That’s enough to buy his favourite pet over 375,000 bags of organic chicken feed. Or, enough to buy the fanciest chicken coop in the world - 150 times.
Blackwell didn’t leave everything to Gigoo, however. He also left $42.5 million to a charitable trust that benefits the arts and animal welfare causes.
Kalu the chimpanzee is set to inherit millions from its owner.
Patricia O’Neill rescued Kalu in 1985. She loved the chimp so much that she changed her will in 2000, making it so that Kalu will inherit her estate near Cape Town - worth around $80 million. You may be wondering how many bananas that is. Only around 320 million.
Christina Foyle was the proprietor of a London bookshop. When she died at the age of 88 she had a quite the fortune, which she spread amongst her relatives, friends, and employees, and charities.
However she was most fond of her pets, wanting them to be well taken care of after she was gone. Foyle left £60,000 ($101,000) to the woman who looks after her 15 cats, and another £20,000 ($34,000) for her four tortoises to be cared for.
It turns out that slow and steady really does win the race.