A woman named Connie Ley recently died, leaving a will that includes a very odd and many say, cruel request.
In her will, Connie asked that her dog Bela (a 9 year old male German Shepherd) be euthanized, then cremated and his ashes placed with her own. Had the dog died prior to her death, this wouldn’t seem like such an outlandish request.
When word of this got out, people over the globe reacted as expected, shocked and angry, a great deal of people branded her request as selfish.
The hashtag #SaveBela has exploded in a Twitter storm ranging from offers to take care of the dog to outright blasting the deceased owner.
Ley’s attorney told 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.” However, if transport proved too expensive, she wanted a close friend to ensure the dog was put to sleep, cremated and placed with her ashes.
The cost of bringing her to the shelter is more than she budgeted for, however the decision has been put on hold due to the public outcry.
Bela is currently staying at the PAWS of Dearborn County Humane Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
“The center has no legal control over the dog’s future and is waiting to hear from Ley’s attorney.” The center’s director, Becky Foster
Ley’s attorney has maintained that while what has been asked is not what everyone wants, it is in fact, legal. In the eyes of the law a dog is a possession(and remains a part of Ley’s estate) and is given the same treatment that a table or bookshelf would receive.
In 2010, Bela killed another dog belonging to Ley. In another incident, Bela ran down and mauled a fully grown deer. The deer was so terribly injured that a sheriff had to be dispatched to put the deer down.
Connie Ley’s friend, Andrew Peters has known her for 20 years, he claims “Bela has never harmed a human, but he has been aggressive towards people he is unfamiliar with.” People who have handled Bela since her owners death have not reported behavior like this.
“I loved that dog like my own, but if it got out and killed a kid, I don’t know. I don’t see it being able to function as a family animal.” Andrew Peters
Andrew Peters is one of the few people asked to spread the ashes of Bela and his owner.
Best Friends Animal Society is urging people to use the hashtag #SaveBela and continue spreading the message. The following message was posted on their Facebook page.
“We want to save Bela’s life and bring him to our sanctuary, but the decision to send him to us or have him put down and cremated is out of our hands. The decision needs to be made by the person designated in Ms. Ley’s will, and we are hopeful that she will agree. Please be patient as we educate her about Best Friends’ life-saving mission and demonstrate that Bela will be in good hands. “
What do you think should be done to prevent situations like this occurring in the future? How can it happen? Let us know in the comments!