Helmsley Reportedly Leaves $8B To Canine Care

NEW YORK  — Animal welfare groups must be panting: Leona Helmsley reportedly directed that her fortune — up to $8 billion — be used for the care and welfare of dogs.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the bequest was included in a so-called mission statement for the estate of the real estate magnate, who died last August.

It’s not certain that all the money will go to the dogs, however. The mission statement wasn’t formally incorporated into Helmsley’s will or trust documents.

Two people who saw the statement told the Times the document also says the estate trustees may use their discretion in distributing the money.

They could, for instance, decide to spend the money for animal rescue groups, veterinary schools or research on canine diseases.