US woman's dying wish for her pet dog to be killed and buried with her prompts #SaveBella campaign

File photo of a German Shepherd, the same breed as Bella Credit: Reuters

A dying woman's wish to have her healthy dog killed and buried with her has prompted a campaign to save the condemned German Shepherd.

As pets are technically classes as possessions in America, the Indiana woman's request was legal.

However, word of the dog's fate spread and the hashtag #SaveBella began trending on Twitter.

Her owner Connie Lay died on 25 November, but Bella currently remains alive and is being cared for by a Humane Society.

“(Lay) made provisions that in the event of her death, she wanted her very close friend to take charge of the dog,” her lawyer Doug Denmure told

"She also then requested that the dog be put to sleep, cremated and that the dog’s ashes be placed with her own ashes.”

Ms Lay's friend has not yet decided what to do with the dog. Her friends also have the option to send Bella to an animal shelter in Utah, if they can raise enough money.

Ms Lay had told her lawyer that the dog had a history of aggressive behaviour and she did not trust the pet around others.

Responding to the campaign, Mr Denmure said: “The dog was owned by my client and now it’s part of her estate and those are her wishes, as far as the future of the dog is concerned.

"Outsiders don’t have the grounds to rewrite the provisions of my client’s will and impose what they want.”