Animals

Parks official rescues dog stuck in narrow crevice on hiking trail for five days


Cave rescuer Jessica Van Ord after climbing out of a rocky crevice in Minnewaska State Park, where she was able to save a dog who had fallen through the crack and was stuck for five days (Picture: AP)

A dog trapped for five days inside a narrow crevice on a New York hiking trail was rescued late Tuesday and returned home with their owner, completely unscathed.

The 12-year-old dog, Liza, fell into a fissure while on a hike with her owner. She was able to survive five days without food or water by licking the damp walls of the nook.

Liza’s owner lost sight of her when she fell into the rocky crevice inside Minnewaska State Park Preserve last week, but was still able to hear her barking, the state parks agency stated.

Staff at the park, situated 90 miles north of Manhattan, made unsuccessful attempts that evening as well as during the following days by using specialized plumbing cameras but Liza was still out of reach.

Jessica Van Ord entering a fissure to rescue a 12-year-old dog named Liza. Van Ord was the only rescuer small enough to fit in the crevice (Picture: AP)

Members of the New Jersey Initial Response Team, a regional group that specializes in cave rescue, were able to get the plumbing camera close enough to observe Liza on Tuesday.

And the dog appeared to be fine.

Only one cave rescuer, Jessica Van Ord, was able to squeeze into the crevice. As the smallest member of the team, Van Ord was able to shimmy more than 40 feet below the surface to reach the dog.

With a modified, extended catch pole then placed securely around the dog’s head, Liza was pulled to safety around 5pm Tuesday.

Aside from being hungry and thirsty, the dog was unharmed.

‘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,’ said Gina Carbonari, the director of the SPCA in Ulster County.

‘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,’ she said.

The state Parks Department took the rescue as an opportunity to remind visitors to keep their pets on leashes at all times.

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