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20 animals who make more money than you

by Daniel Bettridge

NBC

We’ve all been envious of our animals at one point or another. But even the most pampered pets can’t compare to the world’s richest animals, a collection of cash-rich critters who have amassed the kind of fortune you and I could only ever dream of earning. So from millionaire mutts to famous felines, join us as we look at 20 of the richest animals in history.

Grumpy Cat

Shutterstock

One of the most enduring memes to ever hit the internet, Grumpy Cat made the most of her five minutes of fame by appearing in a Cheerios commerical, on merchandise such as pillows, mugs, and phone cases, and even in her own TV movie. It’s not clear how much dough the curmudgeonly kitty earned from these endeavors, but she was awarded more than $700,000 in a federal lawsuit over the use of her likeness. Sadly, Grumpy Cat passed away in 2019 at age seven.

Gunther IV

Unsplash

Gunther the German shepherd actually inherited his fortune from another dog, his dad Gunther III, who had inherited it from his owner, German countess Karlotta Liebenstein, in 1991. Clever investment, however, reportedly saw that nest egg swell to $400 million, and Gunther IV became so rich that he was even rumored to have bought a house from Madonna.

Olivia Benson

Instagram @taylorswift

When your owner is one of the most famous faces on the planet, you could be forgiven for resting on your laurels. And yet Taylor Swift’s kitty Olivia Benson has gone out and made her own fortune, starring in ads for brands including Coke and Keds, surely racking up a sizable bank balance.

See photo on Instagram

Tommaso

Unsplash

Tommaso is one lucky cat. Previously owned by Maria Assunta, the wealthy widow of an Italian builder, this cash-rich kitty inherited a staggering fortune of $13 million when his human died in 2011. The kitty, who had been rescued from the streets of Rome when he was younger, now owns a property portfolio that includes several homes and villas in Italy.

Gigoo

Unsplash

Want to feel depressed? This chicken was richer than you will probably ever be in your life. Yes, Gigoo became a multimillionaire in 2002 when its owner Miles Blackwell died, leaving it the $15 million he’d been sitting on thanks to a successful publishing career.

Blackie

Unsplash

Recognized by Guinness World Records as one of the richest cats in the world, this fortunate feline inherited $12.5 million in 1988 when his reclusive millionaire owner died. Blackie was the last surviving member of 15 cats that Ben Rea was said to have lived with, and so took sole charge of the staggering fortune that was left to him.

Conchita

Unsplash

When she passed away in 2010, Miami heiress Gail Posner left a $3-million trust fund alongside a mansion worth $8.3 million so that her beloved Chihuahua Conchita could live out her final days in comfort. The incredible inheritance is perhaps no surprise given the pooch’s pampered existence before her owner’s death — in fact, Posner was known to spend a fortune each month to gift her pet everything from Louis Vuitton bags to pearls, dresses and even manicures.

Boo

Instagram @buddyboowaggytails

With 16 million followers on Facebook, this fluff ball was more of an influencer than you or I will ever be. Dubbed the world’s cutest dog, the adorable Pomeranian, who died in 2019, reportedly amassed $8 million thanks to sponsorships, appearances and merchandise sales. That’s a lot of bones!

See photo on Instagram

Bart the Bear 2

HBO

Bart the Bear 2 is a bona fide star who has appeared in TV shows and films such as Game of Thrones and Evan Almighty. The Alaskan bear, who is known as Little Bart, has banked a reported $6 million as of 2018 — not bad considering he probably spends half the year hibernating.

Toby

Shutterstock

When American heiress Ella Wendel died in 1931, she set off an eccentric tradition of inheritance that has led to Toby the poodle being one of the richest pets on the planet today. Toby is a descendant of the original Toby, who was left fortune that has been passed from mutt to mutt over the years, reportedly swelling to some $90 million in the process.

Trouble

Shutterstock

This Maltese pooch lived up to its name when, in 2007, it became embroiled in controversy over its inheritance. Previously owned by billionaire real estate tycoon Leona Helmsley, Trouble became rich after her owner died, leaving behind a $12-million nest egg to ensure her lapdog lived out her days in luxury.

Choupette

Instagram @choupettesdiary

The beloved kitty of the late Chanel supremo Karl Lagerfeld, Choupette has amassed more than 73,000 Instagram followers and reportedly made more than $3 million in 2015 alone, having inspired a makeup line by Shu Uemura and a novelty book.

See photo on Instagram

Sadie, Sunny, Lauren, Layla and Luke — Oprah’s dogs

Instagram @oprah

Oprah, of course, needs no introduction, but her beloved dogs maybe do. Among her horde of hounds are Sadie, Sunny, Lauren, Layla and Luke, who are reportedly the beneficiaries of a trust fund worth $30 million.

See photo on Instagram

Pontiac

Instagram @bettymwhite

This beloved pup is owned by American actress Betty White. A star of shows like The Golden Girls, White has amassed a fortune said to be in the region of $240 million. According to reports, she has earmarked $5 million of that sum to ensure that her beloved golden retriever lives out his days in the comfort he has become accustomed to.

See photo on Instagram

Moose

NBC

Unlike some of the other animals on our list, this Jack Russell terrier earned every dime of his fortune. Cast as Eddie the dog in the hit ’90s sitcom Frasier, Moose reportedly took home $10,000 an episode and left behind a fortune of $3 million when he died at the ripe old age of 15.

Tina and Kate

Shutterstock

These two collies became rich in 2002 when their devoted owner died at age 89. With no heirs, she left most of her estate, namely £450,000 (nearly $600,000), in trust to care for her beloved pets, stating in her will the money was to be used “for the maintenance of any dog or dogs which I may own at my death for the period of 21 years from the date of my death or until the death of my last of my dogs if earlier.”

Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s pets

Shutterstock

The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was an animal lover, so when she died in 2008, it was no surprise that her pets would boldly go where few pets had gone before, by banking a whopping $3.3-million inheritance.

Kalu

Shutterstock

Like us humans, some animals have amassed great wealth, only to tragically lose it all. One such pet is Kalu, a Congolese chimp who would have been worth £40 million ($50 million) had her aristocratic owner not lost her fortune.

Samantha

Shutterstock

When he died of a heart attack at age 60, Sidney Altman, who had made his millions selling upscale bathroom fittings, left quite a fortune behind. That money wasn’t bequeathed to his 32-year-old girlfriend Marie Dana, however — instead the $6-million inheritance was left to his beloved cocker spaniel Samantha, with Altman’s former lover named as the dog’s legal guardian.

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