On April 29, Parade magazine devoted an issue to animals for their yearly look at “What people earn.”
It was a fun read. I like to guess what I think occupations pay. Usually, my guesses are higher than the actual salaries.
This issue looked a variety of animals as well as people who work or care for these top money earners.
I assumed race horses would be top earners with combinations of prize money and breeding fees. For example, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, Secretariat, earned $1.3 million in his racing career. His breeding rights were sold for a then-record-breaking $6.08 million.
While those numbers were impressive, I was more interested in what dogs and cats earn, because our family includes one of each. I wanted to see if Teddy, our 4-year-old lab, and Abby, our 16-year-old cat, were slackers.
Dogs who participate in shows don’t win prize money. Ribbons and trophies are the usual rewards. But the winner’s offspring can make a great deal of money. According to Parade, champions’ offspring of the Westminster Dog show, the granddaddy of dog competitions, can sell for as much as $25,000 each.
Teddy is fixed and has never entered any type of competition if you don’t count vying for attention when wanting a tummy rub and ear scratches. No monetary gains here.
A dog Parade didn’t include, Boo, a Pomeranian, has 17 million fans on Facebook and 500,000 followers on Instagram. “The world’s cutest dog” has multiple books and a line of toys. Boo’s endorsements earn him a whopping $1 million yearly.
While our family thinks Teddy is the cutest thing going, if you ask most dog parents they would say the same thing about their pooches.
Teddy would destroys a line of toys, costing us money, not making any.
Nala a 7-year-old Siamese tabby mix cat, has 3.5 million Instagram followers. The cat has deals with Google, PetSmart and Purnia. Nala can earn more than $7,000 per sponsored post. The clever feline also has a website where you can keep up with her as well as pick up a Nala T-shirt for you and a bandana for your own fury child.
On occasion, Abby has appeared on my Facebook page but the feisty feline isn’t known for her hijinks.
The gray-and-white kitty’s behavior is quite predictable. She sleeps. She eats. She uses the litter box. Nothing that would attract a huge social media following unless viewers like watching paint dry.
Abby doesn’t like wearing bandanas, either, and I’m not sure I’d be all that keen wearing a T-shirt with her mug on it.
Our sassy furball can be cranky and vocal about what she likes and doesn’t like. But Grumpy Cat (also known as Tardar Sauce) already has that market cornered. She has 7 million followers on Facebook and 500,000 followers on Instagram.
Grumpy cat has multiple licensed product lines including one for plush toys and one for T-shirts, phone cases and wallpaper. Parade puts her yearly earnings in the low six figures.
Abby is no cash cow, or should I say cash cat.
So Teddy and Abby’s potential earning power compared to much more famous dogs and cats is zip. Their family value? Priceless.
Five highest paid animal actors
1. Rin Tin Tin (dog)
2. Crystal (monkey)
3. Pal (Lassie, dog)
4. Bart (bear)
5. Keiko (killer whale)
See Teddy’s Facebook Page
Online: Teddy now has his own fan page on Facebook. You’ll find past columns, Teddy coloring pages and photos. Post your favorite pet photos. To find it on Facebook search “Teddy the lab.”