Entertainment

Top 10 Richest Pets in the World

Top 10 Richest Pets in the World
Written by Oana Schneider

If there are cat people and dog people, how about pet owners who allot millions of dollars to make sure that their animals are well taken care of? Here, we will take a look at the top ten richest pets in the world, and how they came to be so in the first place. if you want to find out who the richest pets in the world are and how they made their first million, just keep reading!

Richest Pets in the World Must Have Their Secrets…

Dogs are man’s best friend while some people absolutely adore their cats. This is well and good but if a pet is actually worth more than a regular person’s annual salary, how can that be? There are actually dogs, cats and other animals which are worth millions of dollars, and we will be counting down who they are in the next section. But before that, how can such animals be worth so much money in the first place? Believe it or not, some of the richest pets in the world are not dogs. 

Let’s take a typical pet owner as an example. A woman who’s well off and adores her cats so much would buy the animals the best collars, pet houses, accessories and all the other stuff that the felines need. The same thing holds true for dogs who become almost a part of the family. Some animals can be worth so much money when they have millionaire or billionaire owners who are willing to go to such lengths to give them the best care possible.

An animal can be worth so much money if the owner passes and an end-of-life will mentions care for the pet on the legal document. There are also pets who actually inherit vast sums of money in the event of the owner’s passing. For pet owners who are still alive, the animal’s worth is pretty much the same as their human. There are also animals who star in TV shows, commercials or movies and the money that they ‘earned’ from being featured in such things is what makes them worth a lot of money. Read on to find out more about the richest pets in the world.

Counting Down the Top 10 Richest Pets in the World

To give you an idea about how some of the richest pets in the world came to be, take a look at our countdown:

1. Animal: Golden Retriever

Name: Pontiac    
Owner: Betty White 
Net Worth: $5 million

Betty White is practically a Hollywood living legend who has become America’s darling even at the very ripe age of 92. When not busy filming a movie or a sitcom where she’s one of the regulars, she lounges at her home in Los Angeles with her pet Pontiac.

The animal is a Golden Retriever who’s a favorite of the Golden Girl, along with a few other pets. Pontiac actually has a $5 million trust fund, the amount of which will be used to care for the Golden Retriever and White’s other pet animals. What a lucky mutt!  

2. Animal: Domestic Hen

Name: Gigoo
Owner: Miles Blackwell 
Net Worth: $10 million

Can you believe that one of the richest pets in the world is a domestic hen worth $10 million over the average employee? Named Gigoo, the world’s richest domestic hen belongs to Miles Blackwell.

He actually gave the hen the humongous amount on his will. How did this happen? Blackwell and his wife, who passed away before he did, did not have a child. As such, the money that Blackwell should have left to a son or daughter was left to the next available living thing – which happened to be Gigoo the hen.

3. Animal: Maltese

Name: Trouble
Owner: Leona Helmsley 
Net Worth: $12 million

Leona Helmsley was the wife of Harry Helmsley, a famous hotel operator in New York. When Leona passed away, what she did was disinherit two grandkids while leaving her entire $12 million fortune to her dog Trouble.

The canine was even given the surname Helmsley and when news that Leona had the dog inherit such a huge amount, the courts declared her mentally disturbed. Trouble Helmsley even had lawyers who defended the fortune left to the animal so that it would not go to the disinherited grandkids.

4. Animal: Cat 

Name: Tomasso
Owner: Maria Assunta
Net Worth: $13 million

Another name from the richest pets in the world list is Tomasso, a feline version of a rags-to-riches story. From being an alley cat, the animal was rescued by a woman named Maria Assunta. The wife of a successful builder, Assunta inherited $13 million from her husband. When she passed away in 2011 at the age of 94, she left all her money to Tomasso the cat.

5. Animal: Cat

Name: Blackie
Owner: Ben Rea 
Net Worth: $25 million

Blackie is a cat who the Guinness Book of World Records claims to be the richest feline in the world. The animal inherited $25 million from owner Ben Rea.

Rea was a recluse who, strangely enough, did not leave anything to any of his relatives. Blackie the Cat inherited all the money, lived a life of luxury and the millions of dollars were used to help stray cats through the different animal shelters and charities.

Such an act was made famous when Rea died, thus introducing such a concept of animal owners actually leaving their pet animals a lot of money on their wills.

6. Animal: Dogs

Name: Laurel, Sunny, Sadie, Lyla and Luke
Owner: Oprah Winfrey 
Net Worth: $30 million

Oprah Winfrey owns a couple of Springer Spaniels named Lauren and Sunny who came from the same mother. Sadie is a Cocker Spaniel while Luke and Lyla are a couple of Golden Retrievers.

The television show host set aside an estimated $30 million to care for these animals, which is quite a significant chunk out of her total net worth which is estimated to be $2.7 billion.

A well-known dog lover, Oprah is passionate about fighting for animal rights and highlighted on her show how she felt after losing one of her dogs. The amount will obviously be split by the number of dogs that she actually has but with $30 million, the final amount would not be so bad.

Aside from being some of the richest pets in the world, Oprah’s dogs are also probably the most spoiled, not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Oprah's Dogs

Oprah’s Dogs

7. Animal: Whale

Name: Keiko
Net Worth: $36 million

Next on our list is a huge whale who did not actually inherit money from a human owner, but earned the millions of dollars through profit.

Keiko is the killer whale who starred in the 1993 Hollywood film “Free Willy”. The film turned out to be a huge success, thus allowing the whale to earn such a humongous amount of money, estimated to be around $36 million.

Keiko was picked up from a theme park with a water attraction, and the killer whale has not looked back since. Keiko is one of the richest pets in the world and for good reason!

8. Animal: Chimpanzee

Name: Kalu
Owner: Patricia O’Neill 
Net Worth: $80 million 

If you think that only cats and dogs deserve to be on the list of the top ten riches pets in the world, think again. Kalu the chimpanzee is included and is worth $80 million!

In 1985, Patricia O’Neill rescued Kalu. O’Neill is the wife of former Olympic swimming star Frank O’Neill. The husband is not as much a fan of the chimpanzee as the wife, and even holds a grudge after he discovered the small ape smoking his cigarettes and drinking his beer. To make up for it, Patricia changed her will which awarded $80 million to the chimpanzee, when she indicated that the animal would inherit her estate in Cape Town. 

9. Animal: Poodle

Name: Toby
Owner: Ella Wendel
Net Worth: $90 million

The richest pets in the world countdown continues with Toby, toy poodle owned by New Yorker Ella Wendel. Toby is already the descendant of a poodle which inherited $30 million in 1931. With a family who knows how to invest the millions, the amount grew and was given to Toby. With an estimated amount of $90 million, Toby the poodle is a lucky canine born with a silver spoon in the mouth.

10. Animal: German Shepherd

Name: Gunther IV
Owner: Karlotta Liebenstein 
Net Worth: $400 million

First, a bit of history. Gunther III is a German Shepherd who inherited $80 million from the late Carlotta Liebenstein. She is an Austrian countess who left her entire fortune to her pet when she passed in 1991. Only one month after the passing of the countess, Gunther III also died. One of his pups was named Gunther IV and he is now the richest pet in the world.

Gunther IV is worth $400 million, and the previous amount was properly invested in trust funds and stocks. The canine owns a villa, staff who takes care of the canine’s every need and even attends auctions where $3 million bids are won for a rare white truffle.

Other items included in the German Shepherd’s properties are estates in Italy, Germany and the Bahamas, as well as the former Miami home of Madonna.

As you can see, the richest pets in the world have more swag, fortunes and net worth than most people. From the point of view of their owners, the companionship that they gave along with the fun and loyalty makes them worth every single cent.

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

12 Comments

  • Let’s be honest. Sometimes, our pets deserve far more money than anyone else in our lives from us after we pass. It doesn’t surprise me that people leave trust funds for their animals, or they leave their entire fortunes to their pets. It makes sense in some situations, no matter how crazy it might sound to the average person.

  • I can totally understand why people want to leave funds behind to make sure their pets are looked after but some of the amounts stated here are outrageous! No animal would ever need that amount of money! I can’t understand why they didn’t think to give any to charity at all, especially an animal charity. Insane!

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking while reading the article. I’m actually genuinely upset. Sure, there is a reasonable amount needed in order to provide for the pet, but this is over the top. There are animals and people suffering who need medical attention, food, and homes. The excessive amount of money spent on a single pet for a lavish life style can easily help those truly in need. If someone wants to spoil their pet by buying, for example, a heated bed, then okay. However, giving an animal enough money to purchase a mansion is ridiculous.

    • I feel like you missed the part where a few of them said that the extra money specifically was designated for charity. The people leaving their fortunes to pets aren’t idiots. They’re often passionate about animals and make sure that a very large chunk of the inheritance actually goes to charities involving pets rather than their own pet alone.

  • I really don’t understand why people would leave their money to an animal that is not even capable of understanding it. I understand Keiko being worth a lot. His story is so sad. I don’t even know if he survived when they took him back to Iceland to find his pod. I wish they had let him stay in Newport. He seemed so happy there, he loved seeing the people come and watch him.

    • It’s their money, though. They can leave it to whoever or whatever they want. The money is often marked for charity, too, so it’s not like a pet just gets money that it sits on and uses as a toilet every day. Many of these individuals are philanthropists or at least individuals who care about certain causes. They make sure that some of the money goes to charity, even though it’s “inherited” by the pet.

      That’s left out in this particular blog post.

  • A domestic hen? I had to laugh when I read that. And wow pets with trust funds. These are some lucky pets that is for sure! It is not uncommon though some people really do go above and beyond when it comes to make sure their pets are cared for when their gone.

  • People can argue that “pets deserve money more” (from unconditional loving and that crap idea that spoiling animals is good) and that “people can do whatever they want with their money”, this is just disgusting. Hundreds of millions of people are homeless and die of starvation, but a dog get 400 millions? Spin it however way you want it, I love animals but, before you take a true look at poor people’s misery, until you hear a mother crying because her children died of malnutrition, how can you even argue that a situation where a chicken or a dog get insane amounts of money is “deserved” or fair? Yes, they might have provided companionship to these rich people, but if these rich people really had a better soul, they would have friends and would care about actual human beings who money would make a *real* difference for, not just buy a pet to ease the loneliness of their crummy souls.

    I don’t mean any offence to anyone who love their pets and want to make sure they are fine after they die. But obviously, if a pet is the only thing you can imagine giving your fortune to, you made many bad choices in your life.

    Also, I can imagine that lawyers fight for the right of these pets to get the money — it’s like having a permanently underaged heir kid, someone *has* to handle the money for them, so it’s a great deal for whoever is in charge!

  • As the above commenter said, there’s no reason other than “looking cool” for these people to leave so much money to a pet. I would say just donate it. Give it to the needy ones. Help PEOPLE. People should be above animals in anyone’s priority list. I mean… okay, leave some money to the dog. But what about leaving money to your brother so he takes care of the dog? That’d make so much more sense, in my eyes.

  • What I would be curious to learn is who is responsible for managing the estates of these wealthy animals? There has to be a person or group of people calling the shots on HOW the money will be spent in the care of the animal, and actually providing that care, maintenance of properties, etc.

    So the people providing the care must be earning some form of wages or perks such as living on the property for example. The benefactors must have specified who they wanted in charge, so that’s the interesting aspect for me.

  • Wow this is amazing. I don’t deny that pets deserve everything we can give them, but I do think it is a little bit crazy to leave money to an animal, because they cannot do anything with it on their own. I often think that if you would like to leave money to your animal, you should leave it to a shelter or something, so that other similar animals could benefit from it in the future. However I do understand it because I know that you can get very, very attached to your pets, and you may well feel as though they are the best part of your life.

  • It just goes to show that how you spend your wealth is subjective. A person with a net worth of say $200,000 will never do this, while a man like Bill Gates could could do all of this and he won’t lose a second of sleep over it.

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