Cancer forces Utah shelter to euthanize Bela - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cancer forces Utah shelter to euthanize Bela

Bela was willed to die before a Utah shelter and social media outcry saved his life. (FOX19) Bela was willed to die before a Utah shelter and social media outcry saved his life. (FOX19)
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FOX19 -

After a fight to keep him alive, Bela the dog had to be put down over the weekend due to an unexpected health crisis.

The Utah shelter that's cared for the German Shepherd, whose life was saved last year thanks to a viral social media campaign, announced his death on Tuesday.

Bela's Indiana owner passed away in November, leaving a will that stated the dog be euthanized and his ashes put with her own. The story of Bela's willed fate spread, and a national outcry led to a second option: Sending the dog to Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill shelter in Kanab, Utah.

“On Sunday morning Bela's caregiver noticed that his abdomen was distended and he was breathing rapidly,” Best Friends Animal Society wrote in a blog posted on Tuesday.

Tests revealed nodules in Bela's lungs, fluid in his abdomen and also surrounding his heart. The Best Friends medical director diagnosed him with a fast-growing cancer.

“There was very little likelihood he would have lasted more than a very stressful day or so. Reluctantly, Bela's caregiving team made the decision that euthanasia was the right option,” read the blog, which was composed by the society's co-founder.

Workers from Best Friends picked Bela up from Aurora, Ind. on Christmas Day and he'd been happily residing at the shelter since.

In alignment with Connie Lay's last wishes, Bela will be cremated and his ashes sent to Indiana to be buried with his owner.

The Best Friends Blog ends by saying:

“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.”

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