Okanagan dog stuck between a rock and a hard place hauled to safety
Penticton Search and Rescue members executed a daring rope rescue to save a dog trapped by high water in a canyon.
Cheemo, a German shepherd, got stuck in Trout Creek canyon near Summerland on Tuesday, when he got swept away by high water in the creek while out for a walk with his owners.
“The dog, over the course of that evening, had tried to get back into the water again and was swept farther down the stream,” Randy Brown, a manager with Penticton SAR, told CTV News Vancouver.
“Luckily there was a piece of wood and he was able to scramble up.”
The dog had found refuge on a rock ledge below a Kettle Valley Railway trestle bridge, and there Cheemo had to stay, with his concerned owners and other members of the public looking on. Brown said the RCMP were concerned that someone might try to rescue the dog and put themselves in danger.
“It’s a very technical rescue, it’s cliff face, 175 feet down, and there are so many moving parts,” Brown said.
Penticton SAR members gathered at the scene to plan the rescue, and one member, Colleen Aven, was eventually lowered down the rocky cliff face to the dog. But the challenge didn’t end there: Cheemo was anxious and could have easily been spooked and ended up back in the water instead of allowing himself to be put in the rope harness Aven had brought.
“She works with animals all the time,” Brown said. “She had to work to calm the dog down with some treats.”
Cheemo and Aven were lifted to safety, to the “huge relief” of the dog’s owners, Brown said.
BC Ambulance, the fire department and the RCMP were also on hand while the rescue was in progress.
“I have to thank the 15 volunteers who went out to the scene and set up the rope to make sure this happened,” Brown said.