Firefighters Drop Everything To Save Terrified Animal Stuck On The Edge Of A Cliff
“[She] was very pleased to see the rescuers.”
It was a quiet afternoon on Alderney — an island in the English Channel — when the Alderney Fire Brigade (AFB) received a desperate call for help.
A family hiking near the island’s treacherous Telegraph Bay reported losing sight of their dog after she’d run off without them. A frantic search revealed that she’d fallen off a cliff, landing more than 32 feet below.
The dog seemed to be OK, but she couldn’t climb back to the top on her own. And due to the cliff’s steepness, they worried that she’d continue to slip further down.
AFB’s rescue team raced to the scene and devised a plan to save the pup. Two crew members stayed at the top of the cliff with the family while another two rappelled down to the dog.
The pup watched as the men made their way toward her. The minute she saw them coming to help, the sweet girl couldn’t contain her gratitude.
“The dog was very pleased to see the rescuers, but also still very distressed,” James Vizard, AFB’s lead rescuer that day, told The Dodo. “This made the rescue a little more difficult, as the area that the dog was in was very steep, and the ground [was] very loose. The last thing we wanted was the dog to make a dash towards us when we were not ready.”
They were happy to find the pup in good spirits, but the rescuers needed to prepare a few crucial pieces of equipment before they could carry her to the surface.
“The dog was initially secured to one of the rescuers using a piece of webbing,” AFB wrote on Facebook. “The dog was then fitted with a specialist dog rescue harness to allow the dog to be carried while attached to the rescuer.”
Once she was fastened to her rescuer’s body, AFB crew members standing at the top of the cliff hoisted the three back up to safety.
The crew checked the dog thoroughly for injuries as soon as they got to the top. To their surprise, she was seemingly unharmed by her fall off the cliff.
“The dog had no visible injuries and was safely returned to the owner after a much-needed drink and fuss from the remaining crew,” AFB wrote.
With a clean bill of health and steady ground to walk on, the relieved girl bolted into her family’s arms.
The dog lapped at her loved ones’ faces while they pulled her in for the tightest squeeze ever. After over an hour of panic, the loving family was finally back together.
AFB couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this rescue, especially since the pup was unharmed, and everything went according to plan. But they hope this event acts as a cautionary tale for pet parents who plan on hiking with their dogs in places like Telegraph Bay.
“We would advise all owners to make sure dogs are kept on [leashes] when walking near the cliff paths,” Vizard said.
They haven’t heard from this sweet girl since her rescue, but it’s safe to assume she’s enjoying new adventures with her parents these days.
And while she’s exploring the world safely by her humans' side, Vizard and his colleagues continue to practice their most difficult rescue missions — just in case another pup like her needs their help again.