It’s a happy New Year for one lucky dog.
Bela, a German shepherd, was nearly put to death simply because her owner had died.
Indiana resident Connie Ley died in November, and her will left several options for Bela’s future: She could be euthanized; she could be cremated and her ashes mixed with Ley’s; or she could be sent to the Best Friends Animal Society‘s no-kill shelter in Utah, according to the Huffington Post.
An outpouring of public support helped to save Bela’s life and send her to Best Friends, but because dogs are considered property, this pet’s life was left in the hands of the anonymous executor of Ley’s estate.
Good news came on Dec. 23, when the shelter announced that Bela was headed its way.
“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,” Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends, wrote on the company’s website, according to the Post. “Our trainers and animal behavior specialists will work with Bela so that he will have every opportunity to enjoy a full and rich life.”
Shelter officials advised readers to use Bela’s story as a cautionary tale.
“People really need to plan for what will happen to their pets if the pets outlive them,” Best Friends spokesman Eric Rayvid told the Huffington Post.
“Preparation is the key, but here’s the important part: Folks need to talk to the orgs if they’re looking to send pets to them,” he said. “Most run at capacity and might not be able to take in a pet that they get surprised with like we did [with] Bela.”
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