Heirs for Last Wills and Testaments Animals and Pets Part 2
About a number of people who have left things to their pets in their last will and testament.
* Madame Dupuis, a well-known musician of her day, died in 1677, leaving a detailed will as pertained to her two cats. While the two cats were alive, they were to have 30 sous a month for food. Their meals were to be served twice a day, and were to consist of meat soup with pieces of beef and bread added. Each cat was to have its own soup plate. She thoughtfully added that when only one cat remained, half of the recipe would suffice.
* Allen Foster's only friend in the world was a Rhode Island Red hen. When Foster died, he willed that his feathered friend should be cared for just as well as she had been while he was alive.
* In a not unusual pets-before-relatives will, a Mr. Garland, in 1828, bequeathed: "... to my monkey, my dear and amusing Jacko, the sum of pound 10 sterling per annum, to be employed for his sole and exclusive use and benefit; to my faithful dog Shock, and my well-beloved cat Tibb, a pension of pound 5 sterling; and I desire that in the case of the death of either of the three, the lapsed pension shall pass to the other two, between whom it is to be equally divided. On the death of all three the sum appropriated to this purpose shall become the property of my daughter Gertrude, to whom I give this preference among my children, because of the large family she has and the difficulty she finds in bringing them up."
* Thomas Shewbridge, a California prune rancher, saw to it that Mac and George, his two mongrel dogs, would always live in the style to which they had become accustomed. His estate, valued in 1958 at $112,000, was invested (in the dogs' names) in 29,000 shares of stock in the local power and light company. The dogs regularly attended stockholders' and board of directors' meetings.
* An English will filed by Mrs. Dorothy Roscoe, who died in 1976 at the age of 79, named a tortoise, Peter, as heir. Peter, who had been owned by Mrs. Roscoe for 70 years, was left pound 25 so that he could continue to be fed on strawberries and bananas and have his eyes bathed in milk.
* Eleanor E. Ritchey, an heiress herself (Quaker State Refining Corporation), passed on her fortune of $4.5 million to her 150 stray dogs when she died in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in 1968. The will was contested, and in the final outcome, in 1973, the dogs received $9 million. By the time the estate was finally settled, its value had again jumped, to $14 million, and only 73 of the original 150 dogs were still alive. The remaining dogs were tattooed for identification and, in order to keep them from producing more heirs, the males and females were kept apart. When the last dog dies, the remainder of the estate will go to the Auburn University Research Foundation for research into animal diseases.
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