Bela en route to Utah after his story makes headlines

Posted at 6:31 PM, Dec 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-26 21:24:38-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Bela is on his way to Utah after his story made international headlines.

Connie Lay, the German shepherd's owner, died in November. She believed he had behavioral problems and wouldn't be fit for another home, so her will ordered Bela either be put down so his ashes could be scattered with hers or sent to Best Friends Animal Society here in Utah.

Lay's attorney initially favored putting Bela down, saying the estate didn't have the funds to transport him to Utah. But supporters who heard the dog's story are making it happen.

Friends and supporters of Bela said goodbye to the healthy nine-year-old at an Indian animal shelter on Christmas Eve so he could make his way to Utah. He'll get here on Saturday.

"We have an amazing team of animal behavioral specialists and caregivers. At Best Friends we really do focus on giving animals a second chance and Bela's going to be an amazing dog. It's the best gift we could have asked for<" said John Garcia with Best Friends Animal Society.

Best Friends says they didn't know about the will's request until after Lay had died. They say they get a lot of requests like Bela's, but they can't accommodate them all. They want to remind people to plan ahead for their pets and make sure their future caregivers know the plan, too.