People have certainly left odd requests in their wills before, but none quite so odd or terrifying as Connie Lay, a woman who died in Indiana last month. Rather than making firm arrangements for her dog’s care after her death, Lay stipulated in her will that she wanted to be buried with her German Shepherd, Bella. People often get buried with family members, so including Bella in her family is a sweet thought that shows just how much dogs really are man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Unfortunately, the will specifies that Bella has to be buried with her now. Did I mention that Bella is nine years old and still decidedly alive?
Fortunately for Bella, the internet is rallying on her behalf via #SaveBella on social media (no, not that Bella; besides, she’s technically already dead). The efforts were enough to halt her scheduled euthanizing, which was originally slated to take place this past Tuesday.
Right now, Bella is in a no-kill shelter in Indiana, but her time there is limited. Lay did indicate that she wanted Bella put into the care of an animal sanctuary permanently, but unfortunately it isn’t possible because of a lack of funds. Even if money weren’t an issue, Bella has been described as “potentially dangerous,” to the point where people were unable to enter the home after Connie Lay died because they feared that the dog would attack them.
Bella’s fate is still in the hands of Doug Denmure, the attorney in charge of her will. At the moment, he is looking into sending her to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, but that doesn't seem possible. He emphasizes that that ultimately Bella’s fate is his decision to make based on his client’s wishes. It is a tragic circumstance, because I am guessing Lay would never have foreseen this complication. I can’t imagine anybody would be selfish enough to end the life of their pet for the sake of them being buried together. At this point, more than anything, it seems as if the lack of funds is the problem.
Here are some of the #SaveBella tweets that have hit Twitter. Hopefully the call to action will be enough to start raising funds for her care: