A dog has been rescued after being trapped in a narrow, rocky crevasse in a New York park for five days without food or water, authorities said.
The 12-year-old dog named Liza had been hiking with a woman when the small, furry pooch fell out of sight in a passage Oct. 7 at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, state park officials said.
The park authorities were not immediately able to get into the tight crevice to help the barking dog and spent the following days getting a camera into the narrow area to check the condition of the animal.
On Tuesday, the operation convened two members of the New Jersey Initial Response Team, a volunteer group specializing in cavity rescue, to try to get into the passage.
Rescuer Jessica Van Ord – the smallest in the group – was eventually able to force herself into the crack and skimmed all the way down to the flat dirt floor.
“Luckily, I could still stand, albeit sideways, and I could turn my head if I needed to by messing with my helmet,” she said in a Facebook post.
When she spotted the dog, she used a hot dog hanging from the end of a modified fishing rod to get her to put her head in a loop.
“As she hung food over her, the dog picked itself up and sat up on its hind legs to reach for the food. “Cheers could be heard from people looking at the camera,” she said.
Another rescuer nearby then helped secure the loop to bring the dog to safety.
“Eventually we got the dog to pull, we pulled her up and I breathed a sigh of relief as I grabbed her furry little body. ‘I got the dog!’ I shouted and heard cheers above, ”she said.
Mark Dickey, head of the New Jersey Initial Response Team, praised Word for her courageous efforts.
“Only Jessica Van Ord, our smallest team member, was able to push herself and twist more than 40 feet from the surface to reach the dog,” Dickey said in a statement. “This incident is a reminder that a single mistake, whether by an animal, child or even adult, near caves or cliffs can be fatal.”