Dog trapped in rocky Hudson Valley crevice rescued after 5 days

Ulster County

KERHONSKON, N.Y. (WSYR/AP) — A dog has been successfully rescued after being trapped in a narrow crevice for five days without any food or water. The dog was trapped near Gertrude’s Nose Trail at a state park in Ulster County, just west of New Paltz.

A local woman was hiking with 12-year-old dog, Liza, when she fell out of sight at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Park staffers were unable to get into the crevice to help the barking dog.

Two members of the New Jersey Initial Response Team, a volunteer group specializing in cave rescue, were able to descend into the crevice enough on Tuesday to get a specialized plumbing camera close enough to observe Liza.

Rescuer Jessica Van Ord shimmied through the passage and used a hot dog hanging from the end of a modified catchpole to attract the dog into putting its head into a loop. That allowed another rescuer nearby to close the loop.

“This was a tight vertical fissure leading to an even tighter horizontal crack. Only Jessica Van Ord, our smallest team member, was able to squeeze and contort herself more than 40 feet from the surface to reach the dog,” Mark Dickey, chief of the response team, said in the news release.

The dog was placed into a rescue pack and brought to the surface at about 5 p.m. Tuesday and reunited with its owner. Liza was checked over and was in good spirits after the fall—though she was hungry and thirsty, parks officials said Wednesday.

“We were all concerned the dog had not survived until Jessica was able to get closer and hear movement,” said Gina Carbonari, Executive Director of the Ulster County SPCA. “The rejoicing on the surface to that news was just incredible and renewed everyone’s motivation to get this little dog to safety.”

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