First, Leona Helmsley died and left her 5 billion dollar fortune to be used to help dogs. Then, the trustees of the estate sued to change that and use only a small fraction of the fortune for dogs, and the rest for human philanthropic causes. Now, three large animal rights groups are appealing that decision and asking the New York Surrogate's Court to intervene and force the trustees to use more of the money to help dogs, in accordance with Leona Helmsley's wishes.
"Just a fraction of the money involved in Mrs. Helmsley's estate is a game-changer for animal welfare," says Marsha Perelman, ASPCA Board Chair. "The fate of dogs in this country could very well rest on the decision of this lawsuit--it is that critical."
To learn more about leaving assets to your pets, see Nolo's article Providing for Your Pet After You Die.