Dog willed to die has new life in Utah - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Dog willed to die has new life in Utah

Bela a 9-year-old German shepherd facing euthanasia due to a request in his owner's will to have the dog's ashes mixed with her own if he could not be taken specifically to Best Friend (Photo: FOX19 NOW/ Lisa Hutson) Bela a 9-year-old German shepherd facing euthanasia due to a request in his owner's will to have the dog's ashes mixed with her own if he could not be taken specifically to Best Friend (Photo: FOX19 NOW/ Lisa Hutson)
Best Friends Animal Society tweeted this photo of Bela sleeping when he arrived in Utah (Photo: Twitter/Best Friends Animal Society) Best Friends Animal Society tweeted this photo of Bela sleeping when he arrived in Utah (Photo: Twitter/Best Friends Animal Society)
(FOX19) -

A dog once willed to die is adjusting very well to a life of ease at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

FOX19 NOW broke the story last month about a 9-year-old German shepherd facing euthanasia due to a request in his owner's will to have the dog's ashes mixed with her own if he could not be taken specifically to Best Friends.

The attorney for the owner's estate initially said it was not “financially feasible” to take the dog to Utah and instead scheduled his euthanasia. After a social media outcry in response to the story, the person named in the will in charge of the dog's care agreed to allow staffers from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to take him. Staffers flew in overnight and picked him up on Christmas day to drive him back to Utah.

In a video update posted online by Best Friends Animal Society, Bela the 9-year-old German Shepherd is enjoying life at his new home at Dogtown.

"When he first came in, he had his camel that he loved. He brought his camel in with him and since he's been up here he has switched over to his penguin that he does not let leave his side now. I've got him riding on the golf cart so now every time we walk past it, he wants to get right in. He likes to go for short walks. He likes to bounce around with you but he loves anything that has wheels,” says Megan Larson, Dogtown caregiver.

Bela's handlers say while initially there were concerns about aggressive behavior, Bela has shown no signs of it adjusting easily to his new family members.

"When I first met Bela, he is a very intense kind of dog. Lots of anxiety but you can see he really loves people and he really had formed a lot of relationships with the staff at PAWS, the shelter in Indiana where we got him so it was really easy to transfer those relationships over. Once he started to spend a little bit of time with us, we started seeing his true personality and he really warmed up to us very quickly,” said John Garcia, one of the staffers who drove Bela to Utah.

Right now, Best Friends says Bela is not living with any other dogs and just taking his time to learn his new surroundings.

"All in all, he's just a beautiful guy. His personality is amazing. We haven't met a person yet that he is uncomfortable with,” said Garcia.

Best Friends says they continue to work with Bela to determine what will come next for him. They've already received countless adoption applications but say they are taking things one step at a time.

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