HAGERSTOWN, Md. – They're not as loaded as Leona Helmsley's pooch, but three Maryland canines are plenty rich enough to live high on the dog.
The dogs — named Buckshot, Katie and Obu-Jet — inherited $400,000 and a house in Hagerstown with the death last year of owner Ken Kemper. Altogether, their estate is worth about $800,000.
The beagle and two Labrador mixes were strays when Kemper adopted them. They now live at their house with caretaker Roy Grady.
They might not be aware of their wealth, but they do know that on one night a week Grady treats them to spaghetti dinner, with meatballs and garlic bread.
"They love it," he said. "They know when it's coming on Friday, too. They have that time clock."
They also get top-notch health care. When Katie got out of the yard last summer and was hit by a car, she made 40 visits to a veterinarian's office to mend her broken legs and hip. The bill was close to $6,000.
Helmsley's dog, a pampered but reportedly ill-tempered Maltese named Trouble, inherited $12 million from the late hotelier. But unlike that pooch, Kemper's pets seem content romping in their yard.
"They're the most loving dogs," Grady said.
Kemper worked for the federally funded Voice of America, and commonly brought home stray dogs when he returned from overseas assignments.
The executor of Kemper's estate, longtime friend Karin Anderson, said that when the dogs die, she will probably donate the remainder of the estate to an animal charity because that's what Kemper would have wanted.
"He really loved animals," Anderson said. "The man's heart was so big, it needed its own ZIP code."