Rescue who saved owner from bear among 3 heroic hounds inducted into hall of fame

TORONTO -- A 13-year-old rescue dog who laid her life on the line to save her owner from a charging black bear is among the new inductees to the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.

Organizers say Shelby, a German shepherd and Chesapeake Bay retriever, and two other heroic hounds are being recognized for life-saving acts of perseverance and intuition.

Louise Robillard and Andy Chyc adopted Shelby to help protect their 35-acre property in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., from predators such as foxes and coyotes.

In April 2018, Robillard was walking Shelby when they noticed three black bear cubs near a trail.

When the mother bear came charging for Robillard, Shelby leapt into action to protect her owner, and the two animals fought and disappeared into some bushes.

Having heard from a neighbour there was a bear in the area, Chyc ran down to warn Robillard. He heard screaming, and then there was silence.

Together, Robillard and Chyc began walking back to safety, believing the bear had killed their beloved pooch.

And then, Shelby limped out from the bushes -- seriously injured, but still alive.

Over the next four months, Shelby underwent several operations, had her wounds drained and braved several physiotherapy sessions.

Robillard believes had it not been for Shelby's heroic actions, she wouldn't be around to tell her tale.

Also being recognized is Tucker, a six-year-old shepherd and Rottweiler mix, who alerted his family to a fire that engulfed their home in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region after the alarm was delayed.

Rounding out this year's honourees is Rosco, a three-year-old large shepherd mix from Calgary, who helped his owner's father seek medical attention while suffering a stroke.

Since 1968, 182 animals have been inducted into the hall of fame, including 154 dogs, 27 cats, and a horse.