After campaign to #SaveBela, dog arrives at sanctuary in Utah

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KANAB, Utah -- A dog owner who recently died had stated in her will that she either wanted her dog, Bela, euthanized and buried with her or sent to an animal shelter in Utah, and after a social media push to #SaveBela the dog has arrived at Best Friends Animal Society's sanctuary in Utah.

Bela arrived in Kanab, Utah Sunday after traveling about 1,800 miles over the course of 58 hours.

The 9-year-old German Shepherd was greeted by staff members who had a sign and a lot of toys. Bela was able to settle in and explore his new surroundings at Dogtown.

Bela’s owner recently passed away, and the will stated for Bela to either be euthanized and the ashes buried with the owner, or for Bela to live out his life at a Utah shelter. Bela's story got a lot of attention, which helped to make this move possible for the dog.

“He’s very smart, very loyal... I mean it would have been a tragedy for him not to be with us,” said John Garcia, who is the rapid response manager at Best Friends Animal Society.

Staff at Best Friends will now work with Bela to learn more about his personality, what he likes and doesn't like. Best friends is one of a few animal organizations that offer a lifetime care program for pets.


    • Cindy W

      Lulu – what’s the old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes? The initial story indicated that this dog is fear aggressive. Have you ever lived with a fear aggressive dog? I do. It is 24X7X365 work and vigilance. Owning a fear aggressive dog is not easy. Even the old owners vet recommended euthanizing the dog because of his aggression. I know you will never see it this way, but she was actually thinking about the dogs best interests. She didn’t want him to go to someone who would abuse him….if he went out at all. Most fearful dogs in the shelter never GET adopted and end up being euthanized (after months of terror living in the shelter). I am writing similar into my will for my fearful guy. Because I know going to anyone other than my son or Best Friends would absolutely destroy his mental health.

  • Kk

    If this had been a pit everyone would have agreed to euthanasia. She should have taken care of this before she died if able.

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