A New York judge has blocked animal-welfare groups from trying to influence how much of hotel queen Leona Helmsley's multibillion-dollar estate is spent on caring for dogs.
Though Helmsley wanted most of her trust to go toward that purpose, the Manhattan Surrogate's Court judge ruled that the organizations had no standing to intervene in the estate's decisions.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society and other organizations had argued that of the $450 million the estate's trustees had given out, only $100,000 had gone to dogs.
HSUS President Wayne Pacelle called the April 15 ruling "a setback," but said the groups' legal fight would continue.
Helmsley died in 2007. Her dog, Trouble, had her $12 million trust fund reduced to $2 million.