Skip to comments.Dog rescued on Mt. Bierstadt - More Details
Posted on 08/18/2012 5:45:57 PM PDT by AlmaKing
Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt! by aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:34 am
I am the owner of the German Shepard girl found on Mt. Bierstadt.
I need to know the name of the vet clinic that Missy is at so I can go see her and re-reimburse them for helping her, and if I am fortunate enough, to bring her home.
I am at a complete loss of words. My gratitude for the people involved in this is without measure.
Missy was hurt during an attempt at crossing the Sawtooth. It was Missy, a friend and I. Her paws got bloodied up right in the belly of the sawtooth. I was assisting her with the climb using ropes and a harness for a while but she kept getting hurt worse. A few kind hikers stopped and offered some assistance but incoming weather pushed people off of the saddle. My friend and I realized that we could not get Missy up the saddle to Evans or Bierstadt safely so we decided to bail off of the saddle into the valley between the two mountains to escape the incoming clouds. We were lowering her for a while with ropes from boulder to boulder but she was hurting herself worse against the rocks sprawling out and catching them with her legs. Eventually she just stopped standing or moving at all and I knew she was pretty badly hurt. I picked her up on my shoulders and was hopping from boulder to boulder but I couldn't keep her on me. I dropped her once and I almost fell once too and I realized that I couldn't carry her off of the mountain. At this point I made the decision that I honestly never thought I would even be faced with. I left her there so that my friend and I could get down safely with intentions of calling S&R when we were off of the mountian. We both spent about two hours trying to move her up and down the mountain and were pretty exhausted. Neither one of us wanted to hike up the saddle with the cloud cover growing so we continued down into the valley and hiked back to Guanella Pass Rd. It was a lot farther than we thought it would be, and we got lost several times. A group of hunters showed us the way out and gave us a ride back to our car. Thank you to them as well.
I called the 911, the sheriffs office and search and rescue and I was told that it was to risky for them to send rescue crew up there for a dog, which was upsetting but understandable. I'll admit that while trying to get off of the the mountain I was not as concerned because I was focused on making it safely off of the mountain, but once I was safely at my car I was overwhelmed with the loss, and the decision to leave her there. The next couple of days was absolutely horrible wondering about her, if she was alive, or if she died. Thinking about her suffering was awful beyond words. Many confidants comforted me by saying that she was probably gone from injury. All I can say is that I am relieved that she is okay, I am ashamed that it was not me that started this thread, I am ashamed that it wasn't me who got her off of the mountain, I underestimated the good will and resolve of the hiking community of Colorado, and I am eternally grateful to all of you and to 9news. I humbly beg the forgiveness of the community and most of all my Missy Girl. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.Top --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
aortolani14 ProfilePrivate messageE-mail aortolani1414er Peak List Not Entered Posts: 20 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:05 amReport this postReply with quoteRe: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt! by aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:13 am
I am reading through all of these threads, and I am just in awe of how heroic and amazing everyone is that did this. I also see all of the anger and hatred towards me and the decision that I made. I feel that I deserve it all. I made it in a panic to be sure, and what I felt was a survival situation. I didn't think to post on 14er's.com to ask for everyone to come fix my colossal mistake in judgement. It is truly amazing that all of you did it on your own. I don't have proper words. It was several days before I would have even been able to even think of walking back up Bierstadt much less into the sawtooth and to try and carry Missy out, and after that I just thought it would be to late. I honestly never thought that I could just ask strangers to go check the sawtooth and carry my 112lb German Shepard out. I don't know what to say. Thank you again to the community, and to those who are angry I am so so sorry. Missy has done 6 14'ers and she loves being out there in the mountains. She depends on me to make smart choices, and taking her into the sawtooth was beyond foolish.
As he states, the dog completed 6 14ers before. A large percentage of the climbing community brings dogs with them. It is not uncommon.
As the climbing community harps on all the time, when weather rolls in then get off the mountain.
The Sawtooth is a tricky trail section that is between 13,000 and 14,000 feet. It is not the place to be when weather is rolling in. So, the decision to get down was the correct one. Lightening is the number one fear at that altitude because you are entirely exposed. Treeline is probably 1000 to 2000 feet below you. There is no place to hunker down. You are entirely exposed. If you get through the Sawtooth, it is not a bad hike to the parking lot on Mt. Evans at ~14,000 feet. But, if you can't get through it, you have to go back or down some steep terrain.
And yes, dogs have made it through this section.
Re: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!
by klinger » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:54 am
WOW just...wow... happy endings...some harsh lessons here....no doubt some to be taught by some angry 14erites...this website wants to keep your dog.Top
ProfilePrivate messageE-mail aortolani1414er Peak List Not Entered
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:05 amReport this postReply with quoteRe: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!
by aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:01 am
I am sitting here refreshing the screen over and over waiting for people to wake. I am very certain that I have quite the s**t storm coming. But I have to take the good with the bad, with something this good there is a lot of bad I suppose. They can say what ever they want, I will read and learn from every single word. It was my arrogance that put Missy in that situation. I don’t ever want to do anything that could possibly risk her life again. I can’t wait to hike with her again, but I will never put her in danger again.Top
ProfilePrivate messageE-mail AlexMack14er Peak List (26)14ers Skied (2)Trip Reports
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Location: Grand Junction, COReport this postReply with quoteRe: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!
by AlexMack » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:06 am
Yeah I’m pretty much refreshing this at work, this is going to get amusing in a couple of hours. I give you giant balls points for coming out here. Welcome to 14ers.com, we like your dog.”Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” - Evan HardinTop
ProfilePrivate messageE-mail aortolani1414er Peak List Not Entered
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:05 amReport this postReply with quoteRe: Dog Found: Mt. Bierstadt!
by aortolani14 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:17 am
Yeah I’m pretty much refreshing this at work, this is going to get amusing in a couple of hours. I give you giant balls points for coming out here. Welcome to 14ers.com, we like your dog.
Thank you for the support. I’ll take the lashings. I’m just happy she’s okay. This is all so crazy. Missy is an amazing girl. She was born in New York and lived there for three years. She’s been here with me now for two years. She is very well trained and extremely loving and protecting. She is by far the most amazing dog I have ever had the privilege to own. I’m just so thankful right now. I want to see her so badly. This is very much a back from the grave thing right now, I really thought she was gone. I checked the forums here to see if there was any news and I Googled “Dog found on Bierstadt” for a few days after, but I didn’t see anything. I wish I would’ve posted something. Now I am just glad someone else did.
Now the prosecuting attorney is fishing for witnesses to help prosecute Ortolani:
Re: Dog Found (and saved): Mt. Bierstadt!
by BillMiddlebrook » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:22 am
A message from Scott Turner, the prosecutor in this case...
Once again the world has been made aware of the caring community that is known as 14ers.com
I have been following this thread with great interest as I, a 14ers.com member, will be the prosecutor handling the criminal charges in this case. If you were one of the rescuers or personally witnessed anything that happened on the mountain please contact me through my 14ers.com profile. I want to make sure we have contact information for all potential witnesses. Any photographs or video that you may have will also be helpful. If we get to the point where the judge is considering punishment I will do another post with information for whomever would like to send a letter to the judge to make their opinion known as to what should happen to the defendant and the dog. However please remember that under the law Mr. Ortolani is innocent until proven guilty.
That is all I can comment on for now. I will continue to keep the 14ers.com community updated on the progress of the case.
Scott Turner, Chief Deputy District Attorney, 5th Judicial District
A large percentage of the climbing community brings dogs with them. It is not uncommon.”
There is special gear, like booties, for dogs who go climbing with their owners. This dog had none.
Why didn’t he do what the strangers did to get the dog down if he loved it so much?
There’s no way in hell I would have done this to my dog.
I don’t care how many times he said he took the dog with him in the past. The guy deserves to be charged with animal cruelty and lose his dog to someone who will take better care.
Less than 2,000 ft.
It's still unclear why a rescue couldn't have been made from the road up Mt. Evans.
Nor is it clear how the gov't could charge the B0z0 with animal cruelty when the gov't wouldn't help to rescue the dog after notification of the situation.
The b0z0 who NEVER went back to recover the dog has no claim to same now.
I wonder why the distraught owner did not go back to rescue the GSD.
It is fortunate for you that we have many perfect individuals here who will tell you exactly what you did wrong, and what they would have done were they in your shoes. Read and learn.
WTF was the owner doing for the next few days? Waiting for his welfare/disability check?
I can’t imagine leaving my dog. I’d end up dying with my dog.
But on the other hand I was not there & do not know all of the specifics, so I'm not willing to be quiet as critical as some.
Sheriff was no help:
The sheriffs department also has a rescue team, and other hikers told them about Missy being stranded on Mount Bierstadt during the weekend. However, the rescue team was unable to respond because it is solely reserved for human rescues.
We cant specifically send a rescue effort for a dog, Safe said. We have a designated rescue team. In the last two weeks we have had six rescues, one a day on the weekends, for people. It is tough terrain out there.
This is a CONSERVATIVE website. “Government” has no responsibility to rescue this jerk’s dog. HE abandoned her to suffer and die for 8 long days.
Why wouldn’t you go back as soon as the weather cleared (even if you had to take a day off work)?
So, Paladin2, it’s very clear you have no idea of the terrain. You should quit posting uninformed opinions.
Go make this climb before issuing an opinion.
Priorities, priorities, priorities.
I think you are also uninformed. Dogs are making these climbs every day without booties. You also didn’t read his post.
Gee, suddenly you get more information and you’re changing your mind about this story?
I've also been over Guenella Pass and find that it is much easier to get to the Mt. Evan parking lot than all the way back to Guenella Pass.
The real issue is why the b0z0 didn't go back the next day at daylight.
This is a George Zimmerman type of prosecution. So called dog lovers pushing for prosecution based on little to no information. All they consider is the headline.
HE ABANDONED HIS DOG!!! Oh my God, let’s hang him...
So let me get this straight.
The government was notified of the dogs situation, so the government instantly becomes responsible for the dog.
Because the governmemnt didn't do anything, they can't charge the guy with anything.
You sure you're on the right site?
I think you want Kos or DU.
The owner returning to the dog vs. giving up.
The gov't not responding to a request for assistance but then spending plenty of taxpayer resources to punish the perp for not doing it himself.
Pretty much. Why is the gov't spending any money on this? It was likely cheaper to do the rescue.
Justice would leave the dog with the rescuers. The gov't doesn't need to be involved after the fact.
If I were a dog, I don’t think I’d wanna be rescued from Mount Beer State!
You don’t know anything. I’ve read every scrap of information, and I read that forum DAYS ago. I bet I know far more than you do.
exactly. the guy left his injured dog for the mountain lions and coyotes to rip apart.
and never went back period.
was he a new yorker ?
Certainly possible. He's obviously not an American. Git 'er done; Let's roll; etc.
Chest thumping? You have no idea what you're talking about. Had that been me, the dog would have come down with me if I had to beg for help from passersby. Slung across my back most likely. But, it wouldn't have been me because I would have turned back with the first bleeding paw, not kept going until the dog was a bleeding, lame mess that could go no further.
Maybe you're different, more... utilitarian about such matters. I hope you have no animals in your care if so.
Are you Anthony Ortolani by any chance?
(picture from ABC News not dailymail.co.uk)
I would say that the owner of the dog was careless in not considering the limitations of the dog’s conditions when they went out.
I can understand leaving the dog behind, out of necessity, because it’s not going to do anybody good to have have both dog and owner dead.
How is going back the next day (with assistance if possible) not of the ultimate priority?
“She depends on me to make smart choices, and taking her into the sawtooth was beyond foolish.”
This sounds like a tough area, and I am surprised he brought the dog at all.
This person sounds like someone who makes a mess, and depends on “OPs” (other people) to clean it up for him.
Why was he surprised that S&R is for people only?
I’ll bet Ortolani never served in the Infantry.
You never leave a member of the unit behind unless they’re dead, missing, etc. and it is tactically impossible to retrieve the.
Then, when tactical conditions allow (or you impose your will on those conditions), you return, search for them, and bring them out if possible.
Had to do this and it is considered duty.
I look on craigslist and see any number of people trying to find a home for their dog because they are moving, the dog needs more ‘attention’ or whatever.
Moving? The dog is part of the unit. Where the unit goes, they go.
Hear, Hear! (It's a pack thing)
I can’t believe you’re defending this guy.
Where was he on the 2nd day when the couple found his dog? Was he climbing up there to retrieve her? No Where was he on the 3rd day? Was he climbing up there to retrieve her? No.
He left her up there to die.
I assume you’re not being sarcastic, but, yeah, it’s that simple.
It does seem straightforward. One should clean up one's own mess if at all possible (Combat being a difference in kind).
Do you live in that little sh!t town at the base of the Hoosier Pass with the strictly enforced 30MPH speed limit?
Not making any judgements...just asking.
The couple didn’t find her for at least 4 or 5 days. She was rescued on the 8th day. I think they started planning the rescue on the 6th day, and they couldn’t go up on the 7th day because they were prevented by weather.
Billy Madison: [to Miss Lippy] Whoa whoa whoa, Miss Lippy. The part of the story I don’t like is that the little boy gave up looking for Happy after an hour. He didn’t put posters up or anything, he just sat on the porch like a goon and waited. That little boy’s gotta think ‘You got a pet. You got a responsibility.’ If your dog gets lost you don’t look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that f***in dog.
say what you want...
eight days will always be
EIGHT FRIGGIN’ DAYS.
I’ve read most of the posts there and these folks are brutalizing the owner yet readily admit that conditions are extremely tough for the search party volunteers.
The dog is fine but the community needs to take a break and put themselves in the owners shoes.
He took himself up there once for FUN. He could take himself up there again for his dog. Another rescue party tried a night rescue immediately after the dog was found six days into her ordeal, but they were unable to find her in the dark.
Even worse. The owner never went up there himself for a week after abandoning her. He left her to die - it’s animal cruelty and he doesn’t deserve to get her back.
I understand your point but after contacting SAR and being rebuffed, his friends interfered by telling him the dog was probably dead from her injuries.
He willingly admits he could have done more if he had thought of it, but didn’t know that resources were available, and his friends were useless.
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