Skip to comments.Hiker climbs 13,000ft to rescue Missy the German Shepherd after owner left it to die
Posted on 08/17/2012 11:47:30 AM PDT by Mountain Bike Vomit Carnage
Two Denver hikers are locked in a bitter battle over the fate of a German Shepard named Missy, who was abandoned by one and then rescued by another at 13,000 feet.
Scott Washburn found the dog bloodied and near-death atop Colorado's Mt Bierstadt and then organized a search and rescue party to save her.
He wants to keep the dog, alleging that Anthony Ortolani lacks the ability or compassion to care for the creature, which went without food and water for eight days.
But Mr Ortolani says he didn't abandon the animal, an oncoming storm forced him to choose between staying by her side and perishing, or going down the mountain without her.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189640/Canine-custody-battle-Hiker-climbed-13-000ft-rescue-Missy-German-Shepherd-wants-owner-forced-leave-dog-mountain.html#ixzz23pYWurwx
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
What a beautiful girl. I hope that the man who rescued her is able to keep her.
That’s one tough situation. In a life-or-death situation, a person’s life is worth more than an animal’s. So, I don’t blame the owner for making that choice. Still, the rescuer went above-and-beyond to save the dog’s life. I would say that he earned her.
I can understand why the owner felt forced to abandon her, but I don’t understand why he didn’t go back later to try to rescue her.
Anthony, the guy that abandoned her, doesn’t deserve her. He left her to save his own worthless hide. That dog wouldn’t have abandoned him if he’d been injured... Just goes to show why I like dogs more than most people.
The guy that put himself at risk to rescue Missy is the guy that needs to keep her. He proved himself by doing what he could for her and going back for her.
I’d never leave my GSD’s to die like that. NEVER.
When the dog’s original owner left her behind to die on the mountain, and did not return to attempt a rescue, he gave up his rights to the dog. This dog should belong to the kind folks who mounted the rescue. Also, dogs are not suited to mountain climbing. They suffer terribly when forced to climb rocky mountains.
It may seem crazy to people who don’t have pets, but I 100% guarantee that if I have to choose between the dog and life, I choose the dog.
We humans have a special responsibility that we implicitly accept when we adopt an animal. You should no more leave your dog to die on a mountain than your child.
I am now ready for people to rip into me for equating the two...
A good dog would die for their owner.....
Too bad some owners would not at least try harder to save their dog.
My vote? Finders Keepers.
You are so right, a dog is not a goat, they don’t have hooves for mountain climbing.
The rescuers deserve her.
I agree with you 100%. I would never leave my dog, never, ever, WON’T do it.....
Yes, the guy who rescued the dog is the one who deserves to be the dog’s owner now.
Without a doubt.
Awww...what a pretty girl.
Our Gsd is family and will never just be left behind.
I totally disagree. I have a GSD and if something happened to her, I would carry her out of anything. These dogs are totally loyal and was probably waiting for her master to come back. You don’t just let a friend lay there and die. He has no right to this animal.
No brainer. Belongs to the guy who rescued her.
Just ask Missy...
Keep the cops away from that dog.
I agree with his initial decision to leave the dog and survive himself, but he made no attempt to go back up for her.
Those July snowstorms are brutal. /s If this "mountain climber" didn't have provisions for an over-nighter, he never should have gone.
Finders keepers. She was left behind and therefore discarded. Any finder can keep her, including a friend that knew of her. That, and the owner didn’t go back for her so he gives up rights to her.
She a georgeous German Shepherd.
There are no better friends than properly cared for dogs. A dog could live a life of luxury with it's owner, feeding on prime rib and sleeping in a down bed. Should his master lose everything the next day the animal will stay by his side even if he lived under abridge in a cardboard box.
This is the nature of “man's best friend”
Folks who don’t care enough about an animal to go back and get it should never have had it in the first place. I would have carried that dog to safety if it meant my own life was forfeit. And I’m a woman.
The “owner” was just that: an owner, not a loving, caring companion for the dog. Shame on that guy. He never even tried.
I don’t even like to leave my dog home alone when I have to go to my office. I’d sure as hell rather die with him than leave him stranded on a mountain.
BTW, what was this guy doing taking his dog up there in the first place?
Missy belongs to the one who carried her to safety, not the one who abandoned her to die.
I'm with you on that. I've always liked this quote sort of on the same subject:
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die
I want to go where they went."
Will Rogers, 1897-1935
A local article has less of an antagonistic slant than the DailyFail article:
There was a younger hiker there the person was responsible for as well, and the person recognizes their own mistakes—they’re not being insistent about getting the dog back.
Dailymail wants to pretend it was simply the owner abandoning the dog, and that each side wanting the dog are in some sort of cage match battle.
People make mistakes. Who should have the dog? Not my call. Darn glad this beautiful little girl has been rescued. If she goes back to the original owner, I think she’s going to be more appreciated. Certainly the original owner learned the hard way a government agency isn’t going to take the owner’s responsibility on themselves.
Fortunately, the folks I see around here that take their dogs on rocky trails mostly put the little shoes on their dogs and keep an eye on their condition.
From the internet I’ve learned that the owner couldn’t carry the dog; and that authorities were contacted and declared that they couldn’t do it.
Finders Keepers. Totally.
I have pets, and I don't necessarily agree. I would try just about anything in my power to take the dog with me, or heck, even drag it behind me in something, but if I absolutely had to choose between my life and my dogs, then I would choose my life. But I find it difficult to imagine a case where I would really have to choose like that. I totally understand what the original guy did.. but as soon as humanly possibly, I would have gone back to get the dog.
As another poster said it, he gave up his rights to it when he didn't go back for it, in my opinion.
There's a sweeping generalization.
I think we all know the likely result if Missy were placed in a room with the rescuer and the guy that abandoned her to make a choice between them. You can see the intelligence in her eyes.
I read one post that alluded to the owner’s own boss posting a response that suggested he wanted to but was unable to. I didn’t, however go thru all of the posts to find it, so I don’t know. I am always hesitant to come out and give a judgement on someone based on these kinds of stories since I know the media likes to yank us around by our heartstrings and may not post all of the information.
I know it would break my heart to leave my own dog like that and I cannot imagine not going back to try to find her if I was forced to. But it’s always easier to make pronouncements from the comfort of my home.
I can only say I feel very sorry about what that dog had to endure and very happy that she is safe now. Her rescuers deserve kudus.
It appears to be a case of a lost item - if it was a lost tent or even a GPS unit left behind, I doubt few would think that there’s a legal obligation (though of course a moral one) to return the property to the one who abandoned it.
However, this appears to not be the case - he was ‘forced’ to abandon his dog in a dangerous situation, returned to safety, and notified others. If this dog had slipped down into a creek or a drainage hole, no one would think the fireman who rescues the dog now owns it. The original owner should pay for any and all costs incurred in retrieving his property and friend, and get the dog back.
And absolutely deserves every stone tossed towards him for taking his dog up on such a hike in the first place. Then again, don’t even know if that’s even legal anymore... might disturb a protected species habitat...
Bierstadt is a very popular 14er to climb in the summer season. It’s basically a strenuous hike. That’s why these people were able to assemble volunteers so quickly.
The owner didn’t even try to get help and go get her. He thought she was dead - well, she would be dead except for the rescuers. What he has is a dead dog - what the rescuers have is a live dog. He can keep the dead dog in his mind and they get the live one.
My Yorkie trusts me to do the right thing for her. I am all she has, her life is bound to my life. If she was in trouble, I’d get rescurers immediately to help me save her life.
When I had cataract surgery and came home from the surgery center, she sat in front of my chair and stared at me all day. She knew something was wrong with me and stood watch the entire day. She wouldn’t have left me and I wouldn’t leave her. Now, if I can teach her to punch 911...
Ortolani posted on 14ers.com that he called search and rescue and was told they would not go up to rescue the dog. Does this mean he posted that his dog was missing to some internet bb? I don't understand why there was no offer of search help at that time if so. I don't also understand how the search was eventually organized, I guess.
I think we all can sense that the dog would be better cared for by the couple who organized a rescue party but that, once the publicity dies down, the dog may likely be returned to the weasel who abandoned the dog on the mountain and now wants his property back, thank you very much. That injustice we all feel won’t wipe away the value of the good deed of the rescuers. They know they did what was right, it was their joy to do it, and you can see it in their faces in the photos. They are better people for having rescued the dog, and that will stay with them and influence them toward more good acts whether the dog lives with them or not. The original dog owner, in contrast, is continuing to dig himself a hole he started when he abandoned the dog and didn’t try to go back.
“I dont even like to leave my dog home alone when I have to go to my office.”
I am so like that. I am at home all day but when I have to go to an appt. or the grocery store, I rush so I can get back home to her. I can’t carry her around in the car in hot Texas summer so I have to leave her at home.
My son and I were staying in a hotel that didn’t take dogs. We put the Yorkie in a shopping bag and took her to my room. This little 4 lb. Yorkie wasn’t going to tear up that hotel.
>>As another poster said it, he gave up his rights to it when he didn’t go back for it, in my opinion.<<
But for eight days he did nothing to go back for the dog!
First, he probably shouldn’t have had her up that high without more resources, but then to just abandon her and tell himself that she’d just died up there—despicable!
If he really understands the gravity of his error—and is appreciative for what these other people did for her—then there’s no question but that he should let her go.
To not lift a finger to rescue her for eight days and then battle to have get her back is inexcusable IMO.
It’s not some hunk of inanimate property, but an animal we are talking about. The animal’s welfare in such a situation does—and should—come into play.
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