A Dog’s Adventure Turned into a Rescue Mission at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


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On July 8, a successful rescue mission happened at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. According to the National Parks Service, the dog went on an adventure spree while visiting Miners Castle. The canine jumped over the railing at the lower overlook, and it fell 30 feet down from the cliff.

Leo is a four-year-old cocker spaniel mix who visited the park with his family. He was actually on a leash but slipped out of his collar.

The officials of the park were alarmed by a child’s scream. They immediately sent park rangers to the lower platform of Miners Castle — there, they saw a limping cocker spaniel. A Superior High Angle Rescue Professional volunteer named John Miller used a rope to jump and reach for Leo at the bottom of the cliff. Leo was hesitant to approach him, so Miller resorted to communicating with him through dog food, bread, and Goldfish crackers. Miller and Chief Ranger Joe Hughes patiently waited for Leo for about 25 minutes.

“Family members reassured Leo to stay put as additional park staff were called in, along with a volunteer from the Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals (SHARP) team, to rescue the dog from this steep, complicated section of Lake Superior shoreline,” the staff shared in an interview. Miller had to create a makeshift harness that fit Leo to carry him up the cliff. The rescue mission was successful due to the teamwork between the staff and Leo’s family.

“The park’s shoreline can be very unforgiving from the cold water to the sheer cliffs and drop-offs,” Chief Ranger Joe Hughes said. “By partnering with the highly trained mountaineering guides on SHARP, we are able to safely effect these types of high-angle rescues here at the park.” Pictured Rocks also shared the story on their Instagram account and a picture of Leo and his rescuers. A lot of people commented and shared their sentiments about the incident — most of them were happy about Leo’s safe return. The Wisconsin family was genuinely thankful for the staff and shared that they would buy a harness for their Leo. It was indeed a ruff adventure for the cocker spaniel.

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