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Alexander McQueen Leaves $81,500 for the Care of his Dogs

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide in 2010, left £50,000, or $81,500 in his will for the continual care of his three dogs Minter, Juice, and Callum, according to documents made public on Tuesday. He left the same amount to each of his two-person household staff, to his godson and to each of his nieces and nephews.

McQueen also bequeathed £250,000 ($407,500) to each of his siblings and £100,000 ($163,000) each to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the Blue Cross Sick Animal Center, the London Buddhist Center and the Terrence Higgins Trust. He left the majority of his £16 million ($26 million) estate to his own charity, Sarabande, designating some part of the money to be used for scholarship funds for Central St. Martins University of Art and Design, the school from which he graduated.

"The interesting thing to me about this story is not that of a famous suicidal celebrity leaving lots of money to his pets," said Sarah Montague, a WNYC culture producer who also reports professionally on dogs and companion animals. "In fact, this is something many people think about, or should think about, which a great many people who have companion animals don't really think about: what would happen to their animals after they die."

It can cost around $1,000 per year to care of a dog -- for food, shelter and medical care. At that rate, $81,500 would sufficiently leave Minter, Juice, and Callum in good care for more than 22 years.

"My first thought about Alexander McQueen's bequest was this is exactly what any responsible animal lover and owner would -- and should -- be doing," said Montague.

Kim Hamilton, chief executive of the Blue Cross animal charity, agreed.

"It is a touching tribute to his obvious love for his dogs and his legacy will allow us to help many thousands more sick and homeless animals across the U.K.," she said.

In New York, Alexander McQueen has become something of a household name to art lovers and fashionistas. His posthumous exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," has attracted 550,000 visitors to date. The museum announced on Wednesday that it would stay open until midnight on August 6 and 7, the last days that the show is open.

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