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Dog who defended owner in last year's bear attack receives medal of honour

Shelby instinctively and bravely came between her owner and a mother bear

A very special local dog has received a medal of honour for her valiant actions.

Shelby, a 13-year-old German Shepherd and Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix rescue, has been inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame. This program honours the courageous, brave and intuitive acts by animals that have ultimately helped to save human lives.

On April 30, 2018, Shelby and owner, Louise Robillard, were walking when they noticed three bear cubs off the trail on their property. The mother appeared suddenly and charged at Louise. Shelby ran quickly between her owner and the bear in an effort to protect her. The bear slammed into Shelby, and they rolled into some bushes, fighting.

Shelby's other owner, Andy Chyc, came running when he heard the screams. Both Louise and Andy believed that the bear had killed their loyal companion when she emerged from the bushes, barely able to walk.

Following emergency surgery, several operations, and many physiotherapy sessions, Shelby was returned to a stable condition.

This selfless, protective act may have saved her human's life. For that, she and two other Canadian dogs have been surprised in their respective hometowns with the news of being selected for medals of honour.

Today, they were inducted into the 2019 51st Annual Purina Animal Hall of Fame, receiving medal of honour, a year's worth of Purina dog food, and a professionally shot photo with their humans to commemmorate the special and heartwrenching moment.

To learn more about the Purina Animal Hall of Fame and this years’ stories, please visit here.