December 19, 2008

Widow leaves millions to animal welfare

Neighbors of a dog-breeding widow in Scotland learned Friday that she had been a millionaire and that she had left those millions for animal welfare.

Grace Smith, 84, left an estate of more than 7 million pounds ($10.5 million), The Scotsman reported. About half the money goes to the Dogs Trust and most of the rest to other animal welfare organizations.

Smith also made sure that her last pets are provided for. Her dogs, Winnie and Harry, and her cat, Puss Puss, get a total of 50 thousand pounds ($75,000) to allow them to live out a happy and healthy natural life span.

I had no idea that she was so wealthy, said John Hogg, a member of the local council and a friend. But Mrs. Smith lived far from frugally. She lived comfortably and well, and enjoyed life.

Smith's husband was a surgeon. Most of her fortune, apparently, came from years of prudent and successful investing.

For many years, she bred bull terriers at her home, a former rectory in the village of Alves in Moray.