UPDATE: Bela is now being sent to live at a Utah animal sanctuary.
“We are thrilled to announce that Bela has been released to Best
Friends Animal Society and we are currently arranging his transport to
our sanctuary in Kanab, Utah,” Francis Battista, vice chair of Best
Friends, wrote on the group’s blog.
Connie Ley made an unusual request in her will before she died last
month in Aurora, Indiana: She asked that her German Shepherd, Bela, be
euthanized and buried with her.
Three weeks later, however, Bela, who is 9-years-old and male, is
healthy and very much alive. And there’s a growing movement on social
media to defy his late owner’s wishes and spare the animal.
Ley’s attorney, Doug Denmure, told CNN affiliate WCPO-TV that his late client preferred to send Bela to Best Friends Animal Society’s no-kill sanctuary in southern Utah to live out the remainder of his days.
But if transporting the dog across the country proved too expensive,
Ley wanted a close friend to take charge of Bela and carry out her
request that “the dog be put to sleep, cremated and that the dog’s ashes
be placed with her own ashes.”
As it turned out, sending Bela to the Utah animal sanctuary was not financially feasible, Denmure told WXIX-TV, another CNN affiliate. But following a public outcry, a decision about the dog’s fate has been put on hold for now, he said.