A Dead Woman Wants To Kill This Dog

241EDC9400000578-2877560-image-a-1_1418826228085Meet Bela, a healthy German shepherd in Indiana. He would seem ideal for an adoption except for one thing. His recently deceased owner, Connie Lay, specified in her will that Bela, her beloved companion, should be euthanized upon her death and his ashes buried with her. Despite an outcry, she may succeed in reaching from the grave to end Bela’s life. In fairness to Lay, her love for the dog seems to have motivated her unusual demand and she allowed for one escape clause for Bela.

The problem (which we have previously discussed) is that pets are legally treated as chattel or property. Owners have the right to do what they wish with their property. In this case, Lay seems to want a modern variation of a Viking funeral with her dead dog at her feet. But wait, it gets worse. Lay was not so heartless as it may seem. She said that the dog could be spared if he was sent to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, a no-kill sanctuary. However, her attorney said that there is no money for such a transfer.

Her lawyer Doug Denmore also says that Bela is aggressive and that Ms Lay kept a record of his aggressive behavior. Indeed, Bela would not allow people to come near Lay’s body after her death. Yet, there are people who are willing to adopt Bela and the shelter says that they have not witnessed aggressive behavior. In the meantime, Denmore is trying to raise money to send Bela to Utah and the euthanasia is temporarily on hold.

It is an interesting case since owners do have some greater limitations in their treatment of dogs than say a couch or a table. They cannot be cruel to a dog or wantonly kill a dog. Yet, they can put the dog down.

59 thoughts on “A Dead Woman Wants To Kill This Dog”

  1. Thank you happypappies…I know you feel much like I do on this subject. I could not look at that photo of “Bela” and not be moved. Impossible. Judi asked me tonight if I knew for sure that Bela had been moved to Best Friends.

    Therefore, I will call them tomorrow and ascertain that fact. If not, yet, I will ask what more is required to accomplish the move. Presumably it is a done deal, but, if not, I will enable it, if necessary, now….and do without some things I might otherwise do. Our horses, dogs, and even our cats have done more for us than we have for them, pressed down and running over. I do hope to learn that “Bela” is now safe and sound in Utah. If not, I will do whatever it takes to assure it down the road.

    Karen S…can you tell us, or reaffirm, the move is a certainty?

    I know I’m odd caring for a dog as I do, but it is who I am…and I am not ashamed one bit.

    1. Aridog – @crankydog – you are welcome – and you are not weird cause I am too. I just took one on for 200,00 and vet bills and now she is in season and my neutered male just figured out she is a girl and he doesn’t growl at her any more. lol. I have 6 birds too. I keep feeling sorry for animals and people and rescuing them and I can’t even rescue myself. lol

  2. Footnote: the reason our dogs have odd names is because we never change the name from the litter designation name given by the breeder. The tradition among German Shepherd breeding is to “name” a litter by a letter…A, B, C … Z, and name all of the get with a name that begins with that letter. It may be my one superstition, but I just can’t change their names to something else. “NitWit is a rescued (from a tree near our house) kitten and “earned” her name by the boldness she exhibited toward several of our dogs…dang kitty thinks she is King Kong or something. NitWit on day one in our home…that is “Zoya” on the couch.

  3. Jim22…we lost “Zoya” due to a heart attack at age 10, and “Ari” due to a cancerous ruptured spleen, also at the age of 10. We had no prior warning or diagnosis in either case. I lost my favorite horse to an aortic aneurysm that came out of no where. When an animal of ours goes down now, I most fear the de rigueur “aeration” for internal bleeding once the vet arrives. I fully understand the heartfelt pain those incidents cause us. What you said about “Agatha” applies to my constant companion “Dera” today…she wakens me in the morning and never ceases making me smile all day.

    When I saw “Bela’s” photo and read the story it also bothered me. Karen S got the ball rolling on contact and I reacted as I knew I had to do. I simply cited my payment to avoid those remarks (calling for a citation) that might imply I was just talking. Not coincidently, our cat “NitWit” interacts with “Dera” in a never ending comic episode throughout the day…and at times “Dera” seems truly perplexed about cat behavior…well so am I and I’ve had a cat around all of my life, just like horses and dogs. They are strange 🙂

    1. I love all animals. While the good work was being done, I came up with this. The lady was being cremated. Just agree to cremate the remains when the dog dies naturallyl they can be added to hers or aded next to her.

      But saner minds have prevailed. Is there another blog saving dug’s lives?

      Actually a dog in Springfield is being euthanized because the owner brought him into an area his breed has to be registered and hers wasn’t

      GRETA VAN SUSTEREN has put out a Tweet asking for help. Anybody know a good dog lawyer in Springfield?

    2. Springfield is having another dog problem. It’s at the Humane Society and could be euthanized any time. I’m in CA so can’t help. But would help with fee if someone can help this older dog.

  4. Aridog,

    What a great way to use “found money”. Also great news Bela will be saved. I have a 3 year old GSD (Agatha) who is the greatest dog. I have always had GSD’s my whole life. My previous one (Dagmar) was taken from us way to early and suddenly due to a heart attack from a cancer that was never detected. I was a mess for quite a while and never thought that I would ever have a dog so great again that was until we got Agatha. She makes me smile every day. They are simply amazing creatures that should be cherished.

  5. Who says there is no Santa Claus?

    Today I was given $150 by a religious office I do computer work for, for gratis. Their instructions were for me to use it for something for myself…and I have just done so. Nothing can make my day today more than being a small part of Bela’s survival.


    Payee: Best Friends Animal Society
    Payment amount: $150.00
    Pay from: CHASE BANK (…xxxx)
    Payment date: 12/26/2014 via e-Check on next business day
    Deliver by 01/05/2015
    Memo: For support of Bela the GSD
    Status: Funded
    Transaction number: 4346295890

    This was done for me, exactly as I was instructed. One day in the future I will be looking for an older GSD, or two, at least partially trained, that need a home…because I doubt I am up to a full training regimen for a pup or two…that’s 3 plus years of 3 hours plus per day, per dog, of patient work and requires considerable strength and energy. The energy I have, but doubt the strength part now for the protection phases. None-the-less, I cannot survive without dogs. And the protection phase is necessary IMO so the dog knows when to be aggressive and when not to be…it is the handler’s job to assure that.

    Places like Best Friends will be a source for me, as well the shelter I sponsor monthly, and breeders who have dogs that for whatever reason have been returned to them, usually because the owners had to move and could not take the dog with them, or those so vain they insist the pup they buy walks them to a championship podium at the highest title level…rather unfair because at the national and world level, only one male and one female can do it annually. There are no “championships” to be had for merely gathering “points” etc., in the organization I belong to and support…the United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA).

    It is rigorous “sport” per se for German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Malinois, Dobermans, and a few others who work hard, learn focus, and manage titles…still only one of each gender can be “the Champion” annually. I don’t require a “champion” just a dog with a ton of “try” and intelligence. A dog that fills that void I feel when I don’t have one.

    Merry Christmas Bela, and Best Friends. You have made this day my day. Thank you.

  6. The physical address for Best Friends is:

    Best Friends Animal Society
    5001 Angel Canyon Road
    Kanab, Utah 84741-5000

    Phone: (435) 644-2001
    Email: info@bestfriends.org

    I will post proof of my donation as soon as I send it…via e-check from Chase Bank. It will be done tomorrow, and given that banks are all on holiday now, it will take over a week for the money to get there. But it will get there. Anyone who wishes to contribute can utilize the address above.

  7. Karen S….I cannot donate via the website, because they do not take PayPal. With places I do not know well otherwise, I only use PayPal….a direct deduction from my checking account without revealing details, etc. I will simply send them a check for between $100 & $250 for Bela’s care. I’d prefer Bela go to a family who needs her/him (??) however, in the meantime I can do what I can do. I have to now contact “Best Friends” to find a physical address, which doesn’t appear on their site unless I missed it, for the payment via Chase Bank e-check system. If you have the physical address for “Best Friends” please furnish it, here, or to me at aridog@comcast.com via email. Thank you for all you have done.

  8. Many times seniors have aging dogs and fear if they die how lonely and afraid the dog would be. It’s good to make plans for your pets when you die. We have a daughter who wouldn’t think of anyone else having our puppy.

  9. The plight of Bela has touched many people’s hearts. Rescues depend on the generosity of people like you to keep opening their doors to animals in need.

    Please consider donating to Best Friends, or the rescue of your choice. A struggling economy hits pets hardest of all.


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