Posted by: SWL | December 17, 2014

Deformed Dog Given Better Life While Healthy Dog May Be Killed & Buried with Deceased Owner

The world is full of terrible contradictions.

I just read a story about a dog named Derby, who was born with deformed front legs. He was not euthanized, but loved and cared for. Recently he received a set of prosthetic legs made with a 3D printer. A video accompanying the story showed this dog happily running with its adopted owner.

Then I saw a story about a woman in Indiana who died last month and, in her will, requested that her German Shepherd, Bella, be euthanized and Bella’s ashes buried in the same plot with her. Connie Ley’s attorney, Doug Denmure, said no one can change the situation except possibly the executor of the will. (An earlier story also mentioned the option to send Bella to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah, but that option seems out of favor.)

While I do not want government interfering in my affairs, there are times when intervention is warranted. I’ve heard of child services workers putting parents under supervision or even removing children from homes for silly reasons such as children (6-8 years old) being allowed to play on the sidewalk near their home with supervision or in a fenced yard when the parent was blind. Animals being neglected are routinely removed from owners’ homes. Surely a life and death situation – even if it is an animal – deserves review by the proper authorities. Carrying out this woman’s wishes should be considered animal cruelty.

Mr. Denmure has been justifying euthanasia by asserting that the deceased woman thought Bella potentially dangerous. Why would she keep the dog, if Bella was a danger to her? Denmure also said it was difficult to get into the home when Ms. Ley died. Shepherds are known to be protective, so should that be a surprise? At a minimum, the dog should be evaluated before declared a danger.

If you want to follow Bella’s situation or contact people involved, the Washington Post article linked above has several links to articles, a Twitter campaign to save the dog (#SaveBella) and the shelter where Bella is currently staying. Maybe continued bad publicity for the attorney will encourage a good resolution for Bella.

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