Dog Survives 230-Foot Fall on a Hike With Its Owner

Ranger, a Great Dane-Mastiff mix, was rescued in Santiam State Forest and will recover. Credit: Oregon Humane Society

A family dog was rescued outside Silverton, Oregon after falling off the side of a 230-foot cliff during a hike with its owner. Ranger, an 80-pound Great Dane-Mastiff mix, was on the trails of the Santiam State Forest with his owner, David Burrell, on Tuesday evening when he went missing. After an initial search, Burrell was forced to return the next day to look for Ranger and found him at the bottom of a rocky 230-foot cliff. Because he suffered two broken legs and various minor injuries, Ranger could not get back up the steep outcropping on his own, so Burrell called the Oregon Humane Society.

A team from the Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue was dispatched to pull Ranger back up the cliff using mountain climbing gear such as harnesses and a rescue basket. "It took seven team members to pull Ranger back to the top of the cliff," says David Lytle of the Oregon Humane Society. "They were exhausted by the time they got him to safety, but hats off to the team members. They go out into the rain, cold, and dark of night to bring dogs on trails and cats in trees back to their owners."

After Ranger and Burrell were reunited, the dog was carried to the trailhead and taken to an emergency vet clinic to treat his injuries. "He's pretty tough," says Burrell. "He's doing good, despite his injuries. But his tail works, it's still wagging."

Burrell and his wife have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover Ranger's recovery costs and post updates on his condition. They estimate the vet bills will total more than $10,000.