Filthy Rich Pets: In The Lap of Luxury… Literally

I think we were all introduced to the idea of spoiling your pet when Paris Hilton and her pup Tinkerbell burst onto the scene and tabloid covers way back in 2002-ish. Since then, a small dog has become an accessory, a furry one that wears designer clothes. Living in Los Angeles and spending a great deal of time in Beverly Hills, I see plenty of pampered pets – pooches with enough designer duds to rival that of Blue Ivy Carter. I don’t think these dogs’ paws have ever touched a non-marble floor. Yes, they may be a loved companion, but is spending obscene amounts of money on furry friends going too far? Who are these people?!

Top 5 Filthy Rich Pets:

Monster Girl

Monster Girl –  a Chihuahua, naturally – became a very rich pup this past weekend (September 13, 2013). Not that the little one would ever know it. After her owner, Muriel Siebert (New York’s “First Lady of Finance), died after a battle with cancer, Monster Girl was left $100,000. Let me be clear. The 100 grand was not left directly to the dog, like some others have, it was left to Siebert’s friend and now MG’s caretaker. In her will, Siebert specified that has she had done all of MG’s life with her, so not leave the pup alone for long periods of time. Along with the money left for MG and her caretaker, there was a large chunk left for footing medical bills – $10,000 a year for the rest of MG’s life to be exact. Siebert never married or had any children, but she was the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. It is reported she took MG EVERYWHERE. When attending meetings with MG in buildings that did not allow pets, her motto was, “No leash, no lease.”


Trouble, the Maltese pup belonging to Leona Helmsley aka “The Queen on Mean”, passed in 2011, four years after Helmsley’s death. But believe me, just because this pup didn’t have his faithful and loving owner by his side didn’t mean he didn’t die in luxury. Upon her death in 2007, Helmsley, a hotel heiress, left a whopping $12 million to her dog!!! That just baffled me, and still does! But don’t worry – after her death, the $12 million was reduced to $2 million due to it being “excessive to fulfill its purpose”.

Helmsley did, in fact, have family in her will, with her estimated $4 billion net worth there was plenty to go around! She was a widow, so that cut out a husband to leave money to. Leona had one son who had passed years before. There are 4 grandchildren. Two of them received $5 million in trust and $5 million in cash… each. But wait, there was a catch. They would only receive this money if they visited their father (Leona’s dead son) once a year… and signing a ledger to prove they did so. The other two grandchildren werenot so lucky. They, got zip, nada, nothing. She left $15 million to her brother and the rest to animal charities. Before his death in 2011, Trouble had been chauffeured around New York City and Florida (where he lived post Leona) in his own private stretch limo, and his own full time security guard, due to the death threats. But don’t worry, Trouble died in the only fashion Trouble knew: in his private “kennel in the sky” jet.


When Countess Karlotta Lieberstein died in 1991, she left her precious German Sheppard, Gunther III, a cool $80 million, which was to be shared with Gunther IV, a pup Gunther III fathered. The Gunther’s and their growing trust have, believe it or not, I would love to not but it’s a fact, have purchased a Miami Villa from Madonna and won a rare and valuable white truffle at auction. Naturally, the move from the Countess’s home in Germany to a villa in Miami would be stressful, but no worries, Gunther IV has an agent.


Yes, there is a chicken on this list. It’s not all about cats and dogs! Miles Blackwell, a British publishing tycoon at Blackwell UK, left a fortune of $10 million to his hen, Gigoo. At least that’s how it was in his will. The money was ultimately left to various animal charities and organizations.


Yes, yes, Silverstone’s fortune might seem like pocket change compared to some of the other pets on this list, but did I mention Silverstone is a 50 year old tortoise? Oh silly me. Christina Foyle, an English bookshop owner and bookseller, died in 1999, and yes, left $27,000 to her tortoise. There were a total of four tortoises that Ms. Foyle owned, but Silverstone was her pride and joy due to his surprising speed.

My thoughts on leaving your pet a small fortune are as follows: leave your pet enough to live by, enough for them to be taken care of with and the rest, leave to family and charity.

The rich and famous: sometimes a reclusive bunch, and sometimes just untrusting and alienating. Could leaving excessive amounts of money to their pets be due to the fact that they’ve alienated all their close family and friends? That they don’t have anyone they trust enough to care fort their beloved pets? Or even that they’re delusional? Point A and B make me a bit sad, and C, well I suppose that comes with the fortune and lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of A Lovely Escape, ABC News, The Daily News

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