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Saatchi & Saatchi chairman hounded on social media over GoFundMe surgery plea for his Instagram celebrity dog


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

January 26, 2018 | 6 min read

Saatchi & Saatchi chairman Richard Huntington was the subject of ridicule on social media and the press after he crowdfund surgery for his dog, Edward Lear.

Edward Lear

Edward Lear, dog model

Huntington and his fashion designer wife, Annabel Bird, regularly contribute images of Lear to Instagram, building a following of 10,000. Lear is also a dog model, posing many canine attire on the website Bleak House.

The pair were criticised for resorting to an online fundraiser on GoFundMe for the high rolling pooch who’s pricey treatment of elbow dysplasia, torn cruciate ligaments and arthritis at the hands of celebrity vet Noel Fitzpatrick. This exceeded the pet insurance cap of £4,000. As a result the couple looked for £7,500 to pay for the finest treatment on the market. They reached £5,365 before freezing donations amid criticism.

Private Eye first reported that the pair own a £1m home. Further Huntington is thought to earn an enviable six figure salary raising the question why the fundraiser was necessary. The campaign garnered substantial media coverage and provoked negative comments on social media.

On the crowdfunder, Bird wrote: "All I want is for my funny little dog to be able to run around again like the crazy terrier he is and climb mountains in the Lake District and Snowdonia like he used to and enjoy his life to the fullest."

She excused the crowdfunder, pointing out that it is a common practise in the doggy side of Instagram. "This is not uncommon in the dog community on Instagram which is a wholly supportive and wonderful place to hang out. Anyone who follows Edward and/or me on Instagram knows something of our lives and I have never made a secret of the fact that Richard has a high-profile career (he is usually tagged when he appears in Edward’s feed)."


Lear was not available for comment.

With most of the money raised, the good news is that Lear will likely be chasing his tail again any day now.

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