A San Francisco dog survived a brush with danger Wednesday after it tumbled down a cliffside at Fort Funston in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and had to be rescued by firefighters, officials said. After falling down the cliff while exploring the area off leash, the pooch got stuck on a ledge, said to Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department. […] we recommend people remember that animals need to be within range for verbal commands, and people need to be responsible and keep their animals away from the cliffside, said Baxter. The dog was not injured, and his adventure could have had a much more tragic end, said Baxter — likely a relief for the caretaker, who was dog-sitting when the accident occurred.
Today’s story speaks to me not because it’s so unusual – it’s actually more common than you might think – but because I also happen to volunteer for a local organization that specializes in exactly these types of rescues: WASART (Washington State Animal Response Team). Let me add two pieces of advice, if I may: when hiking make sure your dogs paws are up to the sharp rocks you may find as your primary path (another common rescue are dogs that can no longer walk back down on their own due to paws injured by walking on sharp rocks on the hot sun), and when walking cliff-side a leash might be a very good idea.