Best Friends Animal Society Welcomes ‘Bela The Dog’

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Celebration Greets Dog at His New Home, Links to Download Broll and Photos Below

Best Friends Animal Society CEO Gregory Castle welcomes Bela to the sanctuary

Bela is finally home! After driving almost 1,800 miles across six states in 58 hours, Bela arrived at the Kanab, UT-based Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary at about 3PM local time. Staff members at Dogtown, located on the sanctuary grounds, welcomed him with a celebration!

"It's wonderful to be able to welcome Bela here," said Gregory Castle, CEO, Best Friends Animal Society. "It speaks to our principle of valuing all animal life. In this case, there was potential for something terrible to happen, but we are set up to give him a great life and all indications are that he is a beautiful and wonderful dog."

The story of Bela, a 9-year-old German Shepherd whose recently deceased owner requested that he be sent to Best Friends or euthanized and buried with her, captured the hearts of millions of people. Instead of dying, Bela will work with the trainers and animal behavior specialists at Best Friends so that he has every opportunity to enjoy a full and rich life.

John Garcia, rapid response manager Best Friends Animal Society, along with Meghann Burke, a Dogtown caregiver at Best Friends, drove Bela from Indiana to Utah. "Bela is such an amazing dog," said Mr. Garcia. "My hope for his future, that he's just happy and healthy. I'm honored to be a part of this. I've been following his story from day one, and to see him come clear across he country has been such an amazing event."

Bela's situation is a reminder that our animals are members of our families, and families need to plan for their pets who survive them. Best Friends is one of a few animal organizations that 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 needs to be planned for in advance, and organized between you and the designated organization.

Broll of Bela arriving at the Sanctuary can be accessed by clicking this link, and photos of the celebration are located by clicking this link.

About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.

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Eric Rayvid
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