Monday, August 25, 2008

Helmsley's Trust Leaves Billions of Dollars To Dogs

In June, a New York judge reduced the amount of money available to Leona Helmsley's dog, Trouble, from $12 million to $2 million, ordering the remaining $10 million to go to her charitable foundation.

But the New York Times reports that the charitable trust has been assigned to the care and welfare of dogs, according to a mission statement that may or may not be legally binding. Being the only clear direction for the donor's intent, however, means that the entire trust, valued at $5 to $8 billion, may indeed go to the dogs ("Helmsley Left Dogs Billions in Her Will," by Stephanie Strom, The New York Times, July 2, 2008).

May I suggest outlets that uniquely benefit both dogs and humans, such as service dog programs, public assistance through HSUS and ASPCA funding, a national disaster fund (FEMA for pets), veterinary student grants, a centralized database linking CDC, vets, FDA and the public, and research that also benefits humans?



At 7:47 PM, Blogger eamenes said...

It was her money. I say whatever she wanted to do with it should be the only guiding principle. If that means doggies get it, so what?

Besides, most veterinary research is already intended to benefit humans. That's where the money comes from. Successful animal studies are preludes to human studies. And the study techniques or drugs get yanked off the animal market as soon as they prove successful and move on to human testing. Success in veterinary studies is only a good thing for animals in the VERY long run.

Sounds to me like we could use a few billions to fund some animal-only studies.

Plus, people weren't very nice to Ms. Helmsley while she was alive. Maybe we don't deserve a slice of her pie? There should be consequences for cruelty. Even cruelty to people -- heck, even cruelty to rich old ladies you don't like very much.


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