A Happy Ending for Dog Stranded in Gresham Rock Quarry
July 3 , 2012: With news helicopters hovering above, television viewers watched a real-life drama play out last week as rescuers made a daring attempt to save the life of a two-year-old dog perched on the edge of a 200-foot cliff.
The dog, a brown and white pit bull named Daisy, was stranded on a near-vertical slope 30 feet below the top of the Knife River quarry in Gresham. The steep, unstable slope provided footing for neither dog nor human.
OHSTAR Deployed to the Scene
Responding to a request for assistance from Multnomah County Animal Services, members of the OHS Technical Animal Rescue Team (OHSTAR) arrived on site in mid-afternoon and made preparations to rappel down the cliff and retrieve Daisy. OHSTAR is composed of experienced volunteers specializing in rescuing pets stranded on cliff sides, riverbanks, and other hard-to-reach areas.
A Knife River employee, however, would not give OHSTAR permission to rappel down the cliff, and instead assisted in lowering a live trap onto the slope near the dog. It was hoped that Daisy would enter the baited trap and then be hoisted to safety.
But, as a growing television audience looked on, Daisy failed to enter the trap. With the quarry closing down for the day, OHSTAR was required to leave the property as the gates to the entrance were shut.
Assistance from Gresham City Officials
“We were very concerned at this point for Daisy’s safety with the coming fireworks for the Fourth of July celebrations,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS executive director. “Daisy might not survive a night on that ledge, so we reached out to Gresham fire and safety officials and we were very glad when they responded.”
Gresham’s police chief and fire chief, along with Mayor Shane Bemis, soon arrived at the Knife River quarry to investigate Daisy’s plight. At about 8:30 pm, after more than two hours of discussion, Knife River officials gave firefighters permission to enter the quarry and attempt a rescue.
Firefighter Retrieves Daisy from Ledge
OHSTAR also provided tips on animal handling as well as an essential ingredient in any animal rescue: a bag of tasty treats.
Daisy proved as friendly as her owner, who was present at the site, claimed she was. She gave Chamberlin a warm welcome and allowed him to attach the safety harness.
In near-total darkness, Chamberlin and Daisy were hoisted to the safety of solid ground. Just before 10 pm, Daisy was finally reunited with owner Tammie Johnson. Daisy, who had been missing for about a week, was very thirsty but otherwise unhurt.
Teamwork Results in Successful Rescue
“We’re thankful for Daisy’s rescue and the hard work of the rescuers,” said Harmon. “Everyone in this community should be proud of the compassion and the courage that went into this effort.”
Hats off to these Gresham officials for intervening on behalf of Daisy: Chief of Police Craig Junginger, Fire Chief Scott Lewis, and Mayor Shane Bemis.
Happy Endings Supported by You
All costs for rescuing animals in distress is paid for through private donations to OHS. Your online donation today to OHS will help OHSTAR and the many other rescue activities supported by OHS.