Dog may be killed under late owner's will

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

AURORA, Ind. (AP) -- The fate of a German shepherd named Bela remained uncertain Wednesday despite his late owner's wish that the dog possibly be cremated and its ashes mixed with her own.

Connie Ley of Aurora died Nov. 25, and the southeastern Indiana woman's will stipulates that Bela go to a no-kill animal sanctuary in Utah or be euthanized, cremated and mixed with her ashes, attorney Doug Denmure said.

"They're to be combined, that was Connie's wishes," Denmure said in a telephone interview.

Ley felt that Bela displayed aggressive tendencies and that the 105-pound dog wasn't safe around strangers, particularly children, Denmure said. Bela was on medication to control his aggressiveness, and a veterinarian has recommended the dog be put down, he said.

There's no timetable for resolving the dog's fate, the attorney said. He's gathering Bela's veterinary records to send to the Utah sanctuary, the Best Friends Animal Society near Kanab, to see if it will take him. Ley's will leaves 40 percent of her estate to the sanctuary.

However, the final determination of Bela's fate rests with a friend of Lay who wishes to remain anonymous, Denmure said.

"She's entrusted the dog's future with the friend," Denmure said.

Bela, who's believed to be 8 or 9 years old, is currently being housed at an animal shelter in Lawrenceburg, located 20 miles west of Cincinnati, Ohio.

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