Justin Scott works as an EMT. One day he responded to a rather difficult call where one of his close friends passed away. Afterward, he struggled to cope with the emotions and realized he needed help. That’s when Shelby came into his life. Justin adopted Shelby to be his service dog. From that moment on things got easier for him. “I looked at her still in the shelter parking lot and told her, ‘I saved you, and now I need you to save me,’ and she did,” Scott wrote on a Facebook post about Shelby.
During a Fourth of July camping trip in the Eastern Sierras of California, Shelby got spooked by something and slipped out of her collar. Then the dog disappeared into the woods. Shelby’s family searched for her with no luck. They set traps and waited nearby for their dog to return. Scott and his family watched from the car as bears came to inspect the traps.
A Rescue Attempt Begins
After Shelby had been missing for 13 days, her family decided to contact A Way Home for Animals. They’re a nonprofit organization that helps families find their missing pets. Babs Fry, the founder of the organization, drove down to the area in hopes to reunite Shelby with her family. From the start, she knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task.
“Through communicating with everyone in the area, signs, camp host, and general store we were able to make sure that anyone that saw the dog knew exactly who to call,” Fry told The Dodo. “As a result, we received a call the morning after I arrived that Shelby had been seen 3 and a half miles south. I immediately evaluated the area for a probable food source, water source, and a safe place to be unseen so I could set the five traps I had available to me.”
For days Fry waited for Shelby to emerge and wander into the traps. Shelby seemed to be ignoring the traps. Fry sprang into action after she received a call that Shelby had been spotted. She placed a trap quickly, and within 45 minutes Shelby was safely in the trap.
Reunited With Her Family
Fry was happy that she was able to reunite Shelby with her family. However, no one was as relieved as Justin.
Justin was so thankful to have Shelby back he couldn’t contain his happy emotions. He was happy to have Shelby back in his arms.
“No amount of words can express what it felt like to walk through that door and see this dog throw herself at her family and watch her family embrace her with love,” Fry said.
Shelby was lost for a total of 28 days and managed to survive on her own. Many people would have given up searching for their pets. After everything Shelby has done for the Scott family, there was no way they could give up on her. In the end, their love paid off, and Shelby is back home where she belongs.
“I am still crying,” Fry said. “The story from start to finish is an amazing one. The commitment level of Shelby’s owners was by far beyond anything I have ever experienced.”
Featured Image by Sara Scott via Facebook