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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 12:10 am | Fog/Mist 49º


Search Crew Comes to Rescue of Dog Badly Injured in Cold Springs Trail Fall

Team works into the night to get animal to safety from Tangerine Falls

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team is trained for all kinds of emergencies, but the volunteers are not always deployed to assist humans. On Saturday night, they rushed to Cold Springs Trail above Montecito to rescue a dog that had been badly injured in a fall.

Drew Sugars, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman, said Sunday that an 80-pound shepherd mix was playing just below Tangerine Falls in the west fork of Cold Springs Canyon when she slipped on wet sandstone and fell about 20 feet. The dog, named Val, badly injured her back legs in the fall, to the point that she could not walk. Sugars said the dog’s owners, whom he did not identify, tried to carry the animal back to their car at the Mountain Drive trailhead, about a mile and a half away, but were unable to do so. With night falling and with no lights or ability to carry the dog, the couple called 9-1-1 for help.

Just after 8 p.m., the search and rescue team and a county animal control officer arrived with a stretcher and rescue gear. Sugars said the crew secured the dog in the stretcher and began lowering her down the steep creek with belaying ropes. About 1 a.m. Sunday, the group reached the trailhead and the dog’s owners then drove her to a Santa Barbara emergency animal clinic for treatment. There were no further details on the dog’s injuries and condition.

Juanita Smith, a search and rescue team member and search dog handler, said Saturday’s incident was unusual but not unexpected.

“Many of us have dogs as part of our family, so to see another dog injured is something we take very personally and therefore are happy to help where we can,” Smith said.

Search and rescue officials advise hikers to make sure their dogs are in good condition and that they have plenty of water with them, Sugars said. They also recommended that hikers plan their treks to match the capabilities of their dogs.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk.

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