Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lucky Missy

Colorado has 54 mountains over 14,000 feet high. Mt. Bierstadt, close to Denver and as easy a hike as you're likely to get at that altitude, is one of the most popular mountains in the state.
Sawtooth Ridge, A Popular Hike on Mt.Bierstadt
On August 11 of this year, Scott and Amanda Washburn found a German Shepherd cowering among the rocks at 13,500 feet. She was too heavy and too badly injured for them to carry down the mountain, so they bound her wounds as best they could, left her with water, and headed back down to get help.
Scott & Amanda Washburn
The Forest Service expressed regret, but said they could do nothing.

Frantic with worry, the Washburns called everyone they knew, started a Facebook page on behalf of the dog, and posted a plea for help on a hikers' website.

Two days later, they headed back up the mountain with 8 volunteers, only to be caught in a snowstorm on the way up.
Getting Missy off the Mountain
Miraculously, they found the dog, bloody but still alive The rescue took 9 hours.

Although weak and badly dehydrated, the dog suffered no permanent damage. The owner, who had left her there on August 5 because she had lacerated her paws too badly to walk, was charged with animal cruelty. After a month-long battle over custody of the dog, the owner agreed to relinquish custody as part of a plea deal to get the charges reduced.

The dog had spent over a week on the freezing mountain without food or water. She then spent a month in the animal shelter while her fate was being decided.

But she is lucky to be alive and no longer with an owner who would (albeit unknowingly) cause her to be injured and then abandon her for dead.