Have you thought about your will? Who will you leave your money to when you’re gone? A lady by the name of Gladys Valentine Howey, a huge animal lover, left over $600,000 to cats and birds. The thing is, she left this money back in 1985, but it is only now that the animals are beginning to benefit.
She wanted her Parnell home to become a sanctuary for cats and birds, an award to be established for the school whose pupils wrote the best essay on pet care, and another one to recognize the best movie or TV series about animals. A grant was set aside for the best animal welfare home movie.
The problem was that her home was in a residential area and could not be used to house the cats and birds. At one point, it was feared that the money was going to go to the government and would never reach the intended beneficiaries.
After nearly 30 years of legal wrangling, a judge created The Gladys Valentine Howey Charitable Trust and said that animal shelters and educators could apply for funds. He thought that this would be the best way to use Ms. Howey’s money in the way she had intended, without the legal hassles.
The image you see at the top of this post is Angelo the cat, one of the first kitties to benefit from Ms. Howey’s gift.
Here are a few other cases of money being willed to people’s pets:
- Monkey business: Patricia O’Neill, the daughter of the Countess of Kenmore, left her $80m fortune to her pet chimpanzee, Kalu. She had rescued the chimp from captivity in Zaire.
- Gone to the dogs: Grace Smith from Scotland left her $13m estate to animal charities. Two dogs and a cat – Winnie, Harry, and Puss Puss – got $99,000 each.
- Paws for concern: Trouble, a terrier, was forced into hiding after being left $11 million by multi-billionaire owner New York hotelier Leona Helmsley.
What do you think about leaving money to pets? Would you leave money to your pets? I agree with Ms. Howey’s actions, she left her money to go to the care of many animals, not just her own personal one or two pets. But what about something like the German Shepherd named Gunther IV, who inherited 179 million in July of 2000?