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KANAB, Kane County — A dog whose future was left unclear after his owner died last month is being transported to the Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary in Kanab where he will enjoy lifelong care.
Before Connie Ley of Aurora, Indiana, died Nov. 25, she wrote in her will that she wanted her German Shepherd, Bela, to either be euthanized and buried with her or to be housed in a no-kill animal sanctuary in Utah.
Ley left 40 percent of her estate to the sanctuary, the Associated Press reported.
Ley was concerned 9-year-old Bela, weighing 105 pounds, would become aggressive with strangers, especially children, because of his behavioral issues, Ley’s attorney Doug Denmure told the Associated Press.
Although Ley preferred Bela to be sent to Best Friends Animal Society, she knew it may not be financially feasible and requested the dog be buried with her if the trip to Utah proved to be too expensive, CNN reported.
The trip indeed turned out to be too expensive, but Denmure, along with a designated friend who wants to remain anonymous, were left in charge of Bela’s fate, and the two decided to send the dog to Utah, according to a news release.
Denmure said the decision took weeks because they were unaware that Best Friends Animal Society offered great care for a dog like Bela.
At Best Friends, we believe that the life of every animal has intrinsic value and we will always do our level best to help save them all, which is at the core of our mission.
–Barbara Williamson, Media Relations Manager
“It was this lack of information and the unfounded social media backlash about Connie Ley, myself, and the provisions in her will about her pets, that caused the delay in resolving Bela’s future,” Denmure said, according to Best Friends Animal Society.
Best Friends Animal Society first learned of Bela’s story from media reports.
“At Best Friends, we believe that the life of every animal has intrinsic value and we will always do our level best to help save them all, which is at the core of our mission,” Media Relations Manager Barbara Williamson said in a statement. “Our trainers and animal behavior specialists will work with Bela so that he will have every opportunity to enjoy a full and rich life.”
Bela is experiencing trauma due to the loss of his owner and home, and Best Friends is working to do everything they can to make Bela’s life whole again, Williamson said.
Bela is currently living at an animal shelter in Lawrenceburg, Ohio, and will come to Utah by Christmas Day.