happy ending for dog rescued from mountain

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  1. Colorado Hiker Who Abandoned Injured Dog Relinquishes Custody

    By CHRISTINA NG and ANNIE ROSE RAMOS | Good Morning America – 3 hours ago


    • [​IMG]View Photo Colorado Hiker Who Abandoned Injured Dog Relinquishes Custody (ABC News)

    The Colorado climber criticized for abandoning his injured dog on a mountain has agreed to give up custody of the dog to one of its rescuers.
    Anthony Ortolani, 29, originally said he wanted custody of his dog Missy when she was rescued by a team of hikers after surviving eight days on the mountain. Since then, Ortolani has received intense criticism and even death threats over his decision.
    He was charged with animal cruelty and is relinquishing custody as part of a plea bargain, according to ABC News' Denver affiliate KMGH. The plea bargain will allow him to plead guilty to the lesser offense of a county ordinance.
    Ortolani was climbing on Mount Bierstadt with his 5-year-old German shepherd and Rottweiler mix on Aug. 5 when he said a storm moved in and he became worried for his safety and for the safety of his friend. Missy's feet were cut up from walking on jagged rocks and she could no longer walk.
    Ortolani said that he and his 19-year-old friend tried to carry the 112-pound dog for more than two hours on the treacherous terrain before making the difficult decision to abandon the dog in order to save themselves.
    When they reached the bottom, Ortolani said he had a friend call the sheriff's office, but deputies said they couldn't send a rescue crew for a dog.
    "Having trained, professional, well-equipped people saying it's too risky to go up there to get a dog out of there, I couldn't see the responsibility or how it would make sense for me to get untrained, unequipped, not professional people to go risk their lives to get the dog," Ortolani said at a news conference on Sunday.
    Ortolani conceded that he did not put a sign up on a bulletin board asking to be contacted if anyone saw his dog, KMGH reported.
    On Aug. 11, Scott and Amanda Washburn were hiking in the area spotted the dying dog tucked into a nook between rocks. The dog was too weak, injured and heavy to be carried down so the couple used a first aid kit to patch up as many wounds as possible before going back down the mountain for help.
    The couple started an online campaign to rescue Missy, creating a Facebook page and pleading for help on a hikers' online forum called 14ers.
    Reactions and volunteers began to pour in, as well as an overwhelming amount of posts from the online community infuriated by the apparent abandonment of the dog for dead on the cold cliffs.
    The couple got a group of eight volunteers to go back to the mountain a few days later and the group traveled through a severe snowstorm to reach Missy. Nine hours later, they successfully brought the dog down in an oversized hiking backpack.
    "I just don't think that his actions have shown that he is a responsible dog owner," Scott Washburn said. "We understand that he had to leave her there. My wife and I did the same thing. But we ended up going back for her, and we went to some pretty extreme lengths to do so. In my opinion, that is not a responsible dog owner, who doesn't really care about her."
    Missy will soon have a new home with one of her rescuers.
  2. So glad to hear about this. I am trying to imagine a circumstance where I would abandon my dog and just save myself. Can't do it, though if I still had small kids it might sway me; but his actions don't put him in a good light as a pet owner. who takes a dog on that kind of hike anyway???
  3. wow i'm glad the original owner is not getting his dog back. he was irresponsible enough to bring his dog up on a mountain in a storm on jagged rocks? obviously not cut out to own animals. :mad: what a jerk

    I'm glad she's going to a new home with her rescuer.

    I wouldn't leave my condo if there was an emergency without my two cats. I have little emergency kits in their carriers just in case we need to leave fast.
  4. Great news! I'm glad she will have a good home now.
  5. I'm glad to hear she is with a new owner that cares about her. Poor thing, I can't imagine what she was thinking laying there by herself.
  6. Thank heavens.
  7. I'm really happy to hear this. I sure hope that the dog is homed by good, responsible and caring people this time around. :smile:
  8. i can understand leaving her there, if the circumstances were so extreme...but i would have paid anything to get a group of rescuers out to get her. i couldn't sleep at night knowing she was up there.

    thank god for the people who went back for her! there are good people in the world.
  9. The situation would have to be completely life or death for me to leave one of my dogs behind to die. And I would never have taken any of them there in the first place. That was completely irresponsible.
  10. Aw I wrote a short bio paper on this story!! It made me so sad that the dog got left behind but I'm so glad it had a very happy ending!!