MUNISING, Mich. – A dog visiting Miners Castle at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with his family had to be rescued after he jumped off a cliff and plummeted 25-30 feet to a ledge below.
The dog was rescued on July 8 after jumping over a railing and landing on a ledge. Park rangers were in the area and heard a child scream. They ran to a lower platform to investigate and saw the 4-year-old cocker spaniel poodle mix named Leo on a ledge.
Leo was moving and limping around. The family called Leo to keep him in place as more park staff were called in, along with a volunteer from the Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals (SHARP) team to rescue the dog.
The dog was on a complicated section of the Lake Superior shoreline, according to park officials. SHARP member John Miller from Munising was lowered down to the ledge. Leo barked and wagged his tail, but wouldn’t go to Miller.
It took 25 minutes of coaxing with bread and goldfish crackers to get Leo to come to Miller and Chief Ranger Joe Hughes. Rescuers crafted a makeshift harness from webbing to fit the dog and pull him back onto the lower overlook platform to his family.
“The parks shoreline can be very unforgiving from the cold water to the sheer cliffs and drop offs,” Chief Ranger Joe Hughes said. “By partnering with the highly trained mountaineering guides on SHARP, we are able to safely effect these types of high angle rescues here at the park.”
Leo was on a leash but slipped out of his collar when he reached the end of the leash as he fell. The family will be purchasing a harness.
Click here to learn more about how to keep your pets safe at Pictured Rocks.