Volunteer Risks Life to Save Dog From Cliff

By Kelly McPeek-Mullins, Dickenson County Chapter Manager

When a community comes together, amazing things can happen. That is certainly the case for a beagle who found himself stuck on the side of a mountain recently in Dickenson County, VA.

The scared little guy had been literally hanging on for his life when someone saw him and called 911 for help. The Fire Department from Haysi, VA was quickly dispatched to the scene with all of the tools they needed to help.

“When I arrived on the scene, Animal Control and Emergency Management were already there but they needed assistance,” says Phillip ‘Scooter’ Cook, Captain of the Haysi Volunteer Fire Department. The dog was on a small part of the cliff, where he couldn’t move up or down. I knew that if we couldn’t help him, he would die up there.”

The team ran into a challenge when the ladder on their firetruck wouldn’t reach the dog, but they didn’t let it stop them. Richard Thacker, from Emergency Management, borrowed an all-terrain vehicle from the Corps of Engineers and headed up the mountainside with Captain Cook.

With Thacker’s help securing the line, Cook repelled down the mountain until he reached the dog. The act of bravery allowed Cook to grab the dog and bring him to safety.

“Once Cook brought the dog up the hill a little, I was able to take him to the top,” Thacker says. “I gave him some water right away. The poor little guy was so thirsty.”

It’s unclear how the dog ended up on the side of the cliff in the first place, but one this was sure: He was relieved to be on flat ground again.

According to Cook, it took about three hours for the team to rescue the dog. We’re so thankful for their dedication and for going above and beyond to save his life.

Once the rescue was complete, we named the dog Scooter after the brave firefighter who risked his own life to bring him to safety.  It was the least we could do after all of his hard work.

Scooter spent a few days at the Dickenson County Animal Shelter to wait out a mandatory stray hold. When he was left unclaimed, we retrieved him from the county shelter and placed him in one of our loving foster homes where he is receiving plenty of love, medical care, and socialization.

He’s looking for his forever family now, and we’re so happy to know that this sweet guy will never again have to fear for his life. Once again, our Dickenson County community came together to save a vulnerable life in need.

Can you provide a safe and loving forever home for Scooter? Click here to learn more about adopting him. Not in a position to adopt? Please consider donating to our chapter by clicking the button below, or sign up to become a foster or volunteer by clicking here.

There are many more animals like Scooter in our community who need help. If you’re able, please help where you can today. Every donor, volunteer, and foster will help us build a stronger No-Kill community.

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