A dog breeder who kept herself to herself died recently, aged eighty-four, leaving almost her entire fortune totalling £7,052,477 to animal welfare charities. Nearly half of that money was left to the Dogs Trust, as the woman, Grace Smith, was a keen dog lover.
Grace was a retired surgeon and widow, who nobody who new her realised that she was a multi millionaire. She lived alone in her 18th century house near the village of Alves, and secretly played the stock market, building up her huge fortune. As well as playing the stock market, Grace was also a dog breeder, breeding bull terriors.
She shared her home with two rescue dogs, Winnie and Harry (a Lurcher and a Collie respectively) and her cat named Puss. The two dogs and the cat were left £50,000 to ensure that they were comfortable for the remainder of their lives, with the rest of her money going to animal charities.
John Hogg, who was a friend of Grace’s and a local councillor, stated:
I had no idea that she was so wealthy. But Mrs Smith lived far from frugally. She lived comfortably and well, and enjoyed life. She and her husband didn’t go away on foreign holidays, for example, but that was because of their ties to the dogs. Wherever they went they took the dogs with them.
According to Derek Robertson, Grace’s lawyer, she was a patron of the Bull Terrier Trust and she loved the dog breed:
She bred bull terriers and she had kennels in her garden.
Towards the end she stopped breeding bull terriers and took in Harry and Winnie, two rescue dogs. The cat just turned up one day and didn’t leave.
He also added that a friend of Grace’s will be caring for her two dogs and cat:
The animals were fed the finest meat. They were getting steaks and everything – you name it, they were getting it.
The two dogs were grossly overweight. They could hardly move because they were so well fed. And when the dogs went to her friend’s home after she died they had to be put on a diet.
The Dogs Trust’s chief executive, Clarissa Baldwin, welcomed the generous donation:
Her donation will be used in a number of areas within the charity to help care for the 16,000 rescue dogs which pass through our centres each year.
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