Queen of Mean's Billions Go to the Dogs

With $8B, Helmsley trust will dwarf all animal charities
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 5:09 AM CDT
Queen of Mean's Billions Go to the Dogs
Leona Helmsley and her dog Trouble photographed in Leona Helmsley's Park Lane Hotel apartment. Friday, January 31, 2003 in New York.    (AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock)

(Newser) – Leona Helmsley made headlines last year for leaving $12 million to her dog while stiffing two of her grandchildren. But the pooch's payday looks like small change compared to the bonanza in store for America's dogs, the New York Times reports. A charitable trust being built with the late hotel tycoon's assets will have up to $8 billion to spend on canine welfare.

The windfall is estimated to be worth at least 10 times the assets of all of America's animal charities combined. The executors of Helmsley's "mission statement"—which may not hold up in court—are looking into ways to broaden the charitable trust's scope while staying true to the original intention. The billionaire had planned a trust helping both needy people and dogs, the Times reports—but later decided to give it all to the dogs. (Read more Leona Helmsley stories.)

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