Dog recovering at shelter after fire that claimed owner

CICERO The dog's name is Regis. And Regis is recovering from his injuries and has been transferred from an animal hospital to the Waggin' Tails animal shelter in Cicero.

Regis still isn't able to walk yet, but the 13-year-old German shepherd mix is getting stronger every day. The dog has had a long recovery after being rescued from a fire last week.

"He was weak, almost in shock and disoriented," said Dr. Cesar Agustin, A-American Animal Hospital.

Dr. Agustin has been nursing Regis back to health since the fire, which tore through the Cicero home where Regis and his owner, 68-year-old John Petrik, lived.

Petrik had to be forced to leave the home because he didn't want to abandon his dog. As firefighters went in to rescue Regis, Petrik suffered a heart attack and died. Regis suffered burns, smoke inhalation and kidney damage, which is being treated with a form of dialysis. Agustin says there's also the shock of losing his owner.

"I'm sure right now, he's missing him a lot because he's been with him since he was a puppy," the doctor said.

Regis arrives at Waggin' Tails just in time for the shelter's anniversary party Saturday. There's already a lot of interest in adopting him, even though he's still not ready to go home with a new family.

"The response has been amazing, not just from Cicero residents ... but around the globe," said Dan Proft, Cicero town spokesperson.

With a growing waiting list of potential new owners, Agustin says Regis would be ideal for someone who has a lot of time to dote on a pet still recovering from serious injuries.

"It's a long-term, slow tedious process, but given time, love and affection, I'm sure he will respond to people," Augustin said.

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