The 12-year-old dog, named Liza, was rescued Tuesday night from a rock crevice inside the Minnewaska State Park Reserve.
She escaped from her owner on a walk last Thursday on Gertrude’s Nose Trail and fell out of sight and into the narrow crevice.
Her owner could still hear her barking.
Authorities attempted several rescues using specialized plumbing cameras, but still could not reach him.
Eventually, two members of the New Jersey Cave Rescue Team descended into the crevice to get the plumbing camera close enough to her.
One rescue managed to get an extended and modified catch pole around the dog, which was lifted close enough to be placed in a rescue bag and brought back to the surface.
“It was a narrow vertical crack leading to an even narrower horizontal crack,” said Mark Dickey, leader of the New Jersey Initial Response Team. “Only Jessica Van Ord, our smallest member of the team, was able to squeeze and twist over 40 feet from the surface to reach the dog. This incident is a reminder that only one misstep, either. by an animal, child, or even an adult, near caves or cliffs can be fatal. We were happy to work with professionals from New York State Parks and the Ulster County SPCA to obtain the best possible result this time. “
Liza went without food or water for five days. She could be seen on camera licking the damp walls of the crevice, likely picking up on the moisture that helped her survive.
Despite the ordeal, Liza was not seriously injured.
“It is always heartwarming to not only have such a positive result in cases like this, but also to see so many people coming together, putting themselves in danger, to save an animal’s life”, Gina Carbonari , Executive Director of the Ulster County SPCA. “We were all worried that the dog didn’t survive until Jessica could come closer and hear a movement. The joy on the surface of this news was just amazing and renewed everyone’s motivation to put on that safe little dog. Every person there played a part in making this happen – an incredible team effort from multiple agencies. “
Authorities used the story as an opportunity to remind pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash.
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