Dog saved in Utah after woman wanted buried with her has been put down

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KANAB, Utah -- After the death of its owner, a German Shepherd named Bela was driven across the country in December to spend the rest of its days in Kanab at the Best Friends Animal Society.

The dog was not in Utah long when it was discovered Bela was suffering from a fast-growing cancer.  He was euthanized over the weekend.

Bela's journey to the Beehive state started with an Indiana woman's dying wish for her dog to be buried with her.The woman said the dog could be sent to a Utah animal shelter as an alternative.

Thanks to donations, Bela arrived at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab at the end of December.

However, Sunday, less than a month later, Bela had to be put down.

Best Friends Animal Society said on its website:

"The Best Friends family suffered a very sad and entirely unexpected loss over the weekend. On Sunday morning, we had to say goodbye to the magnificent German shepherd, Bela, who captured our hearts over the holidays. ...On Sunday morning Bela’s caregiver noticed that his abdomen was distended and he was breathing rapidly, so he was brought to the Best Friends clinic for an emergency checkup."

According to the post, tests showed fluid in Bela's abdomen and nodules in his lungs.

The medical director diagnosed Bela with a "very fast-growing cancer and there was very little likelihood he would have lasted more than a very stressful day or so."

Bela's care-giving team reluctantly decided euthanizing the pup was the right decision.

They are now honoring the last wishes of Bela's original owner.

Bela is being cremated and his ashes will be sent to Indiana to be buried with his owner who died in November.

Best Friends co-founder Francis Battista said:

"Bela was a great dog who made many friends and was quickly becoming one of the most popular dogs at the Sanctuary. Our staff had grown to love him as the sweet and wonderful dog he was and every one of us who knew him is devastated by this turn of events. Bela will be greatly missed."

Woman’s will states her dog should be killed, buried with her… or sent to Utah shelter

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


  • Lauren

    This article headline is so bad it’s pretty much impossible to tell what you mean. Was the woman put down or the dog?

    • Suzanne

      well CIG BOCK some of us actually do love and care about animals and have an interest in these stories. Maybe Fox News should contact you before they report a story – just to make sure it meets your criteria. Get over it!

  • tk half day

    How is this news? Human life > dog’s life. Boko Haram is gunning down people, ISIS is beheading people, cop tried to tip over a man in San Francisco. And we are talking about A dog. I read this comment on Indiana Star:

    Kay Knobeloch
    This is utterly disgusting. There was nothing wrong with Bela. My sister works for the vet who examined him thoroughly before he was sent to Utah. The shelter was promised a payout if they euthanized the dog, per the attorney who handled his previous owner’s estate.

    • Nate

      Apparently you have never been to Best Friends. They do not need “payouts” so that is a disgusting rumor. Second, you apparently have never dealt with dog cancers or some of the other conditions that take down a pet quickly. I have…..Generally in a GSD, some cancers are never evident until the dog dies suddenly or other immediate symptoms start. I am quite sure not vet did screening for cancer. So until you are quite familiar with how impossible it is to even tell if a dog has cancer until they exhibit end stage physical smyptoms, They are not like humans who start to complain. please do not pass on such information. The dog might have looked great upon his last check. That means nothing. In fact my GSD died of cancer 1 week after a good vet check

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