Going to the dogs
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1997:
Margie Richardson, 76, wife of the late Leon D.
Richardson, on April 21 asked the Hong Kong High Court
to set aside a will leaving more than $12 million to the Royal
S P C A, whose annual budget is about $60 million. Leaving
Mrs. Richardson in 1994, after 40 years, coincidental with the
death of his poodle, Leon Richardson gave her $3 million,
then rewrote his will, a 1991 draft of which purportedly left
her everything, just nine days before his May 1995 death at
age 77 from a heart attack. The RSPCA legacy was the
biggest share of an estate worth about $30 million. The London
Times remembered Leon Richardson, a U.S. citizen, as “a
dog-lover and financial commentator who had survived kidnapping,
atomic bomb tests and corruption charges.”
Abducted in Guatemala in 1981, Richardson was entombed
for 100 days underground. The London Daily Telegraph added
that Richardson “wrote regularly in the American Kennel
Club magazine, as a particularly enthusiastic supporter of the
Newfoundland breed.” Richardson’s last letters “showed quite
clearly this poor man to have been lonely, paranoid and delusional
at the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1995,” John
Scott QC told the court, as counsel for Mrs. Richardson.
The American Kennel Club board of directors on
May 13 formally reversed a plan to relocate from New York
City to Durham, North Carolina, announced in October 1995.
The purebred dog registry now occupying leased space in nearby
Raleigh will stay there, but a 100-acre tract in south
Durham that was to become the office site is to be sold.
A K C president Alfred L. Cheaure in an April 10
memo to 520 AKC delegates acknowledged receipt of “a
request for certain records from the U.S. Attorney’s office in
New York,” 26 days after informing the delegates that a similar
request had come from the New York Attorney General’s
Office. Cheaure said he didn’t know “the complete nature,
scope, or status” of the federal inquiry.
In an apparently similar crackdown, the R o y a l
Canadian Mounted Police in late April filed 63 counts of
fraud and two counts of forgery against Trudy Mayne, who
formerly ran Mainlyne Kennels in Stony Plain, Alberta, for
allegedly registering mixed-breed retrievers with the
Canadian Kennel Club as purebreds. Under RCMP scrutiny
for at least the last 18 months of the four years she was in the
dog business, Mayne relocated to Ontario in early 1995.