By WABC Staff
ULSTER COUNTY, New York (WABC) — A family dog is home safe after being rescued from a state park in Ulster County where it was trapped for five days.
The 12-year-old dog, named Liza, was rescued Tuesday night from a rocky crevice inside Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
She escaped from her owner during 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 barks.
Authorities attempted several rescues using specialized plumbing cameras, but still couldn’t reach her.
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 was able to get a modified, extended catch pole around the dog, which was lifted close enough to be placed into a rescue pack and brought to the surface.
“This was a tight vertical fissure leading to an even tighter horizontal crack,” Mark Dickey, Chief of the New Jersey Initial Response Team, said. “Only Jessica Van Ord, our smallest team member, was able to squeeze and contort herself more than 40 feet from the surface to reach the dog. This incident is a reminder that a single misstep, whether by animal, child, or even adult, near caves or cliffs can be deadly. We were glad to work with the professionals at New York State Parks and the Ulster County SPCA to have the best possible outcome 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 providing herself with moisture that helped her to survive.
Despite the ordeal, Liza was not seriously hurt.
“It’s always heartwarming to not only have such a positive outcome in cases like this, but also to see so many people come together, putting themselves at risk, to save an animal’s life,” Gina Carbonari, Executive Director of the Ulster County SPCA. “We were all concerned the dog had not survived until Jessica was able to get closer and hear movement. The rejoicing on the surface to that news was just incredible and renewed everyone’s motivation to get this little dog to safety. Every person there played a role in making this happen – an amazing team effort by multiple agencies.”
Officials used the story as an opportunity to remind pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash.
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