VERMILION — Ray Torrens didn’t have high hopes when he went to the home of a nearby resident about his family’s lost dog Shelby.
The year-and-a-half-old German shepherd had been lost for about 30 days since her escape during a house fire. Torrens was in shock and disbelief when he arrived and saw Shelby on Saturday night.
“Once I figured out I was 100 percent sure it was her, my heart started beating (quickly) and she started licking my face, and I couldn’t wait to bring her back to my wife and son,” he said.
The family lost Shelby about noon June 8 after a garage fire spread to the attic and part of the home on Roanoke Drive.
In the chaos, the family’s multiple pets were let loose. The family recovered their two other dogs but couldn’t find Shelby. No one was injured in the fire.
From then on, the family went through an emotional roller coaster, said Torrens’ wife, Shannon. For most of the time searching for her, the family only heard of sightings, mostly in the woods near Edgewater Drive.
Shelby was found by a resident only three blocks away in Vermilion on the Lake weighing 15 pounds less with abrasions on her paws. Ray said they have no idea what she had been up to in that time but are glad she was able to make her way back to them.
The family’s neighbor, Erik Hostler; the Vermilion police; Vanessa Petrosky of Remi’s Pet Recovery; and others in the community have been helping the family locate Shelby since the fire. Ray Torrens extended his thanks to everyone involved in helping find his family’s dog.
“We’re so humbled on how the whole community came together for us,” Ray Torrens said. “I’m still taken aback by all this, and I am appreciative of that.”
The family is living with relatives while their house is being repaired, but the Torrenses said it’s much easier to deal with now that their family is whole again.