Monday, July 7, 2008

Animal Rights Groups Hope to Find a Cash Cow

Animal groups out to fetch part of Helmsley estate

NEW YORK (AP) — Animal welfare groups are set to try to fetch some of Leona Helmsley's vast fortune.

At least two groups are eyeing the hotel queen's estate — estimated to be up to $8 billion — following a report Helmsley wanted her fortune to go to the dogs.

The real estate baroness, sometimes called "The Queen of Mean" for the imperious way she treated her staff, died in August. The New York Times reported Wednesday that she left instructions that her estate be spent on the care and welfare of dogs.

While the instructions are not part of her will, and there may be wiggle room for the estate's trustees, the Times reported that courts consider expressions of intent.

The Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said they will be suggesting programs and applying for funds if Helmsley's billions really end up funding dog welfare. Read More

The thought of HSUS getting their hands on $400 million is more than scary. Mainly because of how they would actually use it. Their claim is that they would use the money to help dogs, but they don’t operate any shelters. There are still investigations going on to discover what they did with the millions of dollars they raised in the name of helping animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to that, their own tax records suggest that less than 5% of their budget is used to help shelters that actually get their hands dirty working with animals. I seriously doubt their standard operating procedure would be changing if they acquired any of this money.

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