Best Friends Blog

Bela is coming to Best Friends

Merry Christmas Bela! We are thrilled to announce that Bela has been released to Best Friends Animal Society and we are currently arranging his transport to our sanctuary in Kanab, Utah where he will celebrate a warm, happy holiday with lots of treats, toys and love.

Bela is safe! We first told you about Bela’s story on the blog last week. Be sure to celebrate with us by following his step-by-step journey to the sanctuary on our Facebook page.

Over the last few days we have learned more about Bela from the deceased’s attorney and friends. Bela has a history of intermittent aggression and his owner, Connie Ley was concerned about the appropriate care and management of him after her death given Bela’s special needs. Her attorney and her designated friend, charged to decide what was best for Bela, were unaware of Best Friends experience in providing appropriate care for dogs like Bela. According to the estate attorney: “It was this lack of information and the unfounded social media backlash about Connie Ley, myself, and the provisions in her will about her pets, that caused the delay in resolving Bela’s future.” In addition Best Friends first learned about Bela from media reports.

At Best Friends, we believe that the life of every animal has intrinsic value and we will always do our level best to help Save Them All, which is at the core of our mission. Our trainers and animal behavior specialists will work with Bela so that he will have every opportunity to enjoy a full and rich life. Of all those party to the unfolding events following Connie Ley’s passing, Bela has experienced the trauma of losing his life-long companion and his home. Our first priority is to do everything we can to make Bela’s life whole once again in keeping with Connie Ley’s wishes for her beloved dog.

There are many people to thank for their part in this, but we’d like to especially thank P.A.W.S of Dearborn County who have been taking great care of Bela while this all played out. And with thanks to all concerned, another life has been saved.

Bela’s situation is a poignant reminder that our animals are our family, and families need to plan for their pets who survive them.

Best Friends and a few other animal organizations offer a lifetime care program. These programs typically guarantee a safe haven or loving home for a pet for life. However, it is something that should be planned for in advance, and organized between you and the organization. You should never assume any organization will have space to take your animal without making prior arrangements. Most operate at capacity to try to save as many animals as possible. For information on the Best Friends planned giving options, click here.

For all concerned, Bela is in good hands and will enjoy a safe and very merry Christmas and a happy future at Best Friends!

Please show your support for Bela coming Best Friends by adding your positive message for Bela to have a safe journey by using the #Hashtag #BelaIsSafe.

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Francis Battista
Best Friends Animal Society

(Photo credit: Partners for Animal Welfare Society of Dearborn County)

  • Beverly

    Best news ever! Bela has received the GIFT OF LIFE!

  • Cindy Whitehair

    Fantastic news. I have a fearful dog who can be aggressive. While a lot of well meaning people wanted to take Bela, knowing what it takes to care for a fear aggressive dog, I was praying he would come to you. I know you all have the ability to care properly for Bela. I will be talking to my husband tonight about making a donation to go toward Bela’s care.

  • Sharon Craig Sweeting

    There IS a Santa Claus and he lives at Best Friends!

  • luciearl

    Thank you Best Friends, Melissa for al you do. Hope you receive a lot of apologies that jumped to conclusions to quickly. Will love to hear Bela updates. I know she’ll find happiness with you.

  • Barbara Holt

    Thank God! Bela is such a beautiful dog. Merry Christmas beautiful dog.

  • Randomoon

    As a Lifetime Care member, I suggest it to everyone I meet. Make plans NOW for your pets. It is reassuring to know all my pets will be taken care if anything happens to me. Most local no-kill groups offer something. Check into it for the safety of your pets.

  • Margaret Dhillon

    Thank goodness thanks Best Friends

  • Anne Thomas

    This is wonderful news! It’s so often the news is not so happy ! Bela is getting the chance he deserves. He can live out his natural life as he should and his final resting place could be with his owner! A total win ! Sometimes it takes a village !

  • choctawqueen

    Thank you best friends.Welcome Home Bella.

  • Theresa Craig

    this is wonderful,i was so worried it might go the other way,thank god it didn’t. merry Christmas to all,and I am so happy your getting bella

  • Jeanie

    So happy for Bella and thank you for saving him. Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Tammy J. Hankenhoff


  • Susan

    That’s terrific news. I prayed that Bella would come to your wonderful sanctuary. It’s truly an amazing place. Merry Christmas Bella and Welcome Home. Your owner would be so happy to hear the great news.

  • Dawn Gerken

    This made my day. Almost in tears…but I’m at the dentist right now so I’ll contain myself. Merry Christmas indeed!

  • Gina Mickelson

    This is the best news ever!!! Merry Christmas Bela……

  • Valerie Sawicki

    Merry Christmas to Bela and everyone at Best Friends!

  • Tracy Buckley

    Great news! This handsome boy has been on my mind and feel that Best Friends is the perfect place for him. Good luck Bela and I wish you a happy and long life! Thanks for all you do Best Friends!

  • Deborah St. Jock Levesque

    Thank you BFAS. Merry Christmas to all of you and beautiful Bela.

  • Cheryl Mazzoni

    What wonderful news! Merry Christmas Bela and thank you, Best Friends.

  • Carmen Hernandez

    #SaveBela….Best news I’ve heard all day. So happy you’re going to Best Friends Sanctuary beautiful boy . Safe journey there precious baby boy❤ Love you Bela❤

  • Vina Roy King

    I was so Happy to see the post. Merry Christmas Bela. We all in southeast Indiana love and pray you have a great life at Best Friends. Please keep us up to how Bela is doing there. Love you for getting Bela there.

  • Sandy Stuart Mason

    So happy! Merry Christmas Bela!

  • Debbie

    I am so happy that Bela will be coming to stay with you at BFAS.

  • kim

    That’s awesome

  • aleda

    i am so glad.. have fun in your new place… god bless