‘A good news story’: Rescuers save dog on Eight Mile Mesa


Photo courtesy Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office
A firefighter works to rescue a dog that ran off of the top of Eight Mile Mesa on Monday. The firefighter, helped by other firefighters and Archuleta County emergency management personnel, brought the uninjured dog safely back to the top before reuniting her with her owners.

By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

On Monday, one of the luckiest dogs on earth may have been in Archuleta County.

According to Archuleta County Emergency Operations Director Mike Le Roux, the dog was out with its owners Monday afternoon atop Eight Mile Mesa when it chased something into the scrub oak and over the edge of the mesa top.

The people had ridden ATVs to the top of the mesa and gotten off at the lookout tower, Le Roux explained.

After the dog left the mesa top, the people were unable to see her from the top, but were able to follow the road back down and into the Loma Linda subdivision, where they could see the dog with binoculars, Le Roux indicated.

The owners then reported the incident around 4 p.m. after not knowing what to do, he added.

The dog was perched on a ledge above the cliff, he explained, adding that the area where the dog was has a slope of about 70 degrees.

“She managed to claw into the earth bank and stay put,” he said.

Le Roux and a crew of firefighters responded to the top, he reported, and were able to see the dog.

After assessing the risk level, a firefighter was then lowered down 40 to 50 feet via ropes to the dog’s position, and the dog was secured to the firefighter using webbing and a harness that had been fashioned by its rescuers and safely brought back to the top.

The dog was uninjured, Le Roux explained, but gave everyone involved a scare when she at one point attempted to climb back up the slope before sliding back down to the same position.

Le Roux called the situation “terrifying.”

The dog was reunited with her owners at the trailhead, Le Roux noted.

“They were pretty ecstatic,” he said, adding, “It was really good, and it’s a good news story in the end.”