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Charities in will windfall

When Grace Smith, a retired pathologist and dog lover, died in January at the age of 85, she left £7 million to animal charities. The main beneficiaries included the Dogs Trust, who it is reported will receive £3.5 million, the PDSA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Scottish SPCA. Mrs Smith has left money for her own pets to be cared for as well.

Mr John Hogg, councillor for Heldon and Laich, said of Mrs Smith: ‘She had a comfortable life with a nice house, but nothing extensive.

‘All her life she loved dogs and I would not have expected anything else from her than what she chose to do. She was astute, cultured, very well-informed and also very private,’
Mr Hogg, an independent councillor who knew Mrs Smith for a number of years, added that he had ‘no idea whatsoever’ about the size of her fortune, but was not surprised by what she decided to do with it. Mrs Smith’s husband had died three years earlier; he was a retired surgeon and also a dog lover.

The chief executive officer of the Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin, said they had been overwhelmed by the ‘wonderfully kind gift.’

Ms Baldwin added: ‘Mrs Smith's legacy will be permanently recorded in our Book of Remembrance at our head office in London, and 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.’