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Santa Barbara Fire Department Adds Dog Rescue Harnesses for Cliff Rescues

Whether by accident or adventure, dogs are going down cliffs on ocean bluffs and finding it too hard to get back up these days. Santa Barbara City Firefighters had to make another in what appears to be an on going flow of calls in recent weeks for dogs over the edge of cliffs.

One popular area for off leash dogs is the Douglas Family Preserve on the Santa Barbara Mesa.

Captain Gary Pitney with the Santa Barbara Fire Department says crews have training in technical rope rescues over the side of cliffs using a variety of options. Recently a harness for a dog has been added to their gear to be able to help a dog back up to the top of the bluffs or to lower the pet down to the beach. In some cases that could be over 70 feet.

“Years ago we did not have that. We had to fabricate something and sometimes that is precarious, to get the dog and the dog really doesn’t want to have anything to do with you,” said Pitney.

Jonathan Eyman with the pet services company, Fur, Feather and Scales had four dogs on the trail this afternoon. Two were off leash. “If they start flirting with it (the edge) and of course if they are not listening and if they seem like they are taking it took risky… yes leash them up,” he said.

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