The Queen’s $8 billion dollar empire is destined for the dogs. Leona Helmsley, “the Queen of Mean,” has willed the bulk of her real estate empire to the dogs. Her own Maltese, Trouble, was willed a staggering $12 million dollars while two of her grandchildren were left out in the cold.
Already the whopping $12 million left to poor Trouble has been slashed to a measly $2 million. The two forgotten grandchildren will receive a respectable $6 million between them. However, given that Judge Renee R. Roth of Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan has shown no concern in over-ruling the wishes of Mrs Helmsley’s last will and testament it will be interesting to see how the remnant of the estate will be divided.
The bulk of Harry B. Helmsley’s Manhattan real estate empire has been left to “provide for the care and welfare of dogs.” The wide ranging scope of this wish leaves open a myriad of potential uses for the money. Dog welfare groups have been scrambling to present their best ideas as to the use of this fortune as they try and grab a piece of the cake. Two prominant dog welfare groups have already put their hand up as willing beneficiaries.
The Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have stated they will be suggesting potential programmes should these funds be made available. Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society suggested solving “the pet overpopulation problem,” whatever form of action that would require. Other suggestions included attacking dogfighting, rabies in China and India, and also taking care of dogs left behind in disasters.
I thought this was an interesting discussion after reading a post on Matt’s Planet about the insanity of taking pet care to the extreme when there are so many people in dire situations. Do you think its right to leave $12 million or even $2 million to a dog when every day thousands of people die from the lack of food and basic medicines? What about the other billions of dollars destined for dog welfare? Do you think groups like PETA are the right ones to be entrusted with such large sums?
There is no doubt that struggling animal welfare agencies could use a cash injection to carry out the tireless work that they do on shoe string budget. But what about the work of agencies like Tear Fund who are equally under funded?
How would you spend a potential $8 billion?