Bela is a healthy German Shepherd that is in a fight for its life due to the will instructions left by owner Connie Lay. Animal activists are battling the last will and testament demands set forth by the Aurora, Indiana, dog owner. Lay decreed that Bela be euthanized after her own passing, and the dog’s ashes were to be mixed with hers so they could be buried together.
Connie Lay’s attorney said that Bela the German Shepherd is his client’s “property,” and she was free to do with him as she wished. PAWS Humane Center volunteers are currently boarding Bela until his fate is determined. The humane center staffers told the media that the German Shepherd is a “sweet, healthy dog” that should be put up for adoption so he can find a loving new home. A multitude of families have contacted the PAWS Humane Center seeking to adopt Bela.
“The dog was owned by my client and now it’s part of her estate. And those are her wishes, as far as the future of the dog is concerned. Outsiders don’t have the grounds to rewrite the provisions of my client’s will and impose what they want,” Doug Denmure, the attorney for Connie Lay, told local WCPO-TV News.
Indiana state law says classifies dogs, domestic pets, and other animals are property. The statute mandates that owners must treat the animals humanely, but they are fully entitled to decide whether they live or die.
Connie Lay died on November 25. Before passing away, the Aurora woman made arrangements with a close friend and her attorney to “dispose” of all her property – Bela included. Doug Denmure maintains that the German Shepherd is aggressive, and said that Lay kept a record of the aggressive behavior of Bela before she died.
After Lay died inside her own home, Bela guarded the body of her owner “fiercely,” and would not allow anyone to enter the house. Since being removed from the home, Bela has been worked with by PAWS Humane Center volunteers, and she has reportedly not shown any signs of aggression.
Connie Lay did add one life-saving provision in her will regarding Bela. The German Shepherd could be taken to an animal refuge in Southern Utah, according to reported details in the will. However, attorney Denmure said that Lay did not leave behind enough money to transport Bela to the Best Friends Animal Society refuge.
The attorney is currently accepting donations to cover the cost of moving Bela to the Best Friends Animal Society refuge. It is not known how long Bela will be allowed to live as the lawyer for Connie Lay awaits donations.
What do you think about the Indiana woman demanding that Bela be euthanized in her will?