Woman's Dying Wish for Her Beloved Pet Is Being Called Cruel & Selfish

Animal lovers are irate that a woman in Aurora, Indiana, has stipulated that her beloved dog Bela be cremated and her ashes laid to rest with her owner. The problem is that the owner is dead and Bela is still very much alive. Connie Ley's will stipulated that Bela either be sent to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah or euthanized and the dog's ashes mixed with hers. Since Ley died in November, her lawyer and friends are now trying to decide what to do with the dog.


Once word of what Ley wanted done to the dog got around, people began protesting, creating the hashtag #SaveBela on Twitter and inundating the local shelter holding Bela with demands to let the dog live.

In general, people thought it was incredibly selfish of a woman who was dying to want her beloved pet to die as well so that the two of them could rest together for eternity.

But the issue is more complex than that. It appears that Bela has aggression problems and was very protective of her owner. As her owner lay dying, Bela was in the bedroom with her, and reportedly no one could enter for fear Bela would attack. This apparently isn't just a dog that could be given to a friend when Ley died.

Many people face the same circumstances with their pets. Whether the animal is aggressive, old, has health or behavioral issues, not all pets are easily adoptable or can even be given over to friends or family or a shelter once the owner passes on.

When I first read this story, I was one of those animal lovers whose knee-jerk reaction was "Selfish! Horrible! How could she do this?!" But now that I understand a little better what is going on, I get it.

If Bela is truly not placeable with one of Ley's friends or with an animal shelter, then she preferred the dog be euthanized at a vet's office, with her friend present, and her ashes placed with her owner, than euthanized anonymously in some shelter's gas chamber.

The lawyer says that Bela was the property of Ley and has no legal rights of her own. But they still haven't decided what will happen to her.

What might be nice is if one of these animal lovers so concerned about Bela's fate would be willing to take on a possibly aggressive German Shepherd and keep the dog until her demise, and then bury her with Ley. What's sad is that it sounds like even if that is an option, because it's not stipulated in Ley's will, it won't be carried out. A total shame.

All of this is a good reminder that people should have a plan in place for their animals and what will happen to them after they pass on. The idea that family or friends will just automatically step up and care for pets is one that is sadly often not based in reality.

Do you have a plan for your pets in case something happens to you?


Image via IndyStar/Twitter

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