The man who left his injured dog atop a Colorado mountain, now facing animal cruelty charges, wants his dog back.
But one of the dog’s rescuers want to keep it.
The dog is safe and recovering now, but another doggie custody battle looks to be in the offing, pitting a dog’s original owner against someone who helped save it.
Anthony Ortalani was charged with animal cruelty Friday following an investigation by the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, KUSA reported.
“We base that on information we learned that the dog had been up there for eight days in this rugged terrain. The weather had been inclement on certain days with rain and snow and the fact that he made little attempt to go back up and get the dog or try to make any other arraignments to retrieve the dog and get it back,” Sgt. Rick Safe with the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department said.
The dog, named Missy, has not been returned to Ortalani, who faces a court appearance Oct. 16.
“The dog is doing great now and is expected to make a full recovery,” Sgt. Safe said.
But apparently that’s no thanks to the sheriff’s department.
The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department is the same agency that Ortalini contacted for help once getting down the mountain. He says they declined to attempt a rescue of his German shepherd
According to Ortalani he was climbing Mt. Bierstadt when his dog’s paws became blistered and too sore for her to continue walking. Ortalani says he tried to carry the 112-pound dog off the mountain but was unable to. He says that attempts by him and his friends to lower the dog with ropes ended up injuring the dog even more.
With a storm approaching, he says, he was forced to leave Missy behind.
Once down the mountain, Ortalani contacted a search-and-rescue group and the Clear Creek sheriff’s department but says he was told it was too risky to send a rescue crew up for the dog.
A group of volunteers managed to pull it off, though.
Scott Washburn was out hiking with his wife when he spotted the dog, 13,000 feet up Mount Bierstadt. He posted photos of the dog on a climbing website, 14ers.com. A group of volunteers was assembled, and they climbed back up and brought Missy down. The hikers took turns carrying her in a backpack down the mountain. Missy, who spent eight days on the mountain without food or water, was taken to a veterinarian who treated her for injuries to her paws and dehydration.
While Ortalani wants her back. Washburn and his wife have asked to adopt the dog.
Ortalani posted his thanks for those who rescued his dog on 14ers.com: “I am at a complete loss of words. My gratitude for the people involved in this is without measure.”
He went on to say, “I humbly beg the forgiveness of the community and most of all my Missy Girl. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal cruelty, animals, Anthony Ortalani, charged, clear creek county, climbing, colorado, dog, dogs, german shepherd, hiker, injured. Mt. Bierstadt, left behind, missy, mount bierstadt, mountain, pets, rescue, safety, sheriff's department, volunteers
A Saturday climb to the summit of Cannon Mountain marked the completion of Randy “Zip” Pierce’s attempt to conquer all 48 of New Hampshire’s peaks — with his quide dog, The Mighty Quinn.
Pierce is the first blind hiker — and Quinn the first guide dog — to climb “The 48” in one winter, the Union Leader reports.
“I’m blown away by this experience. I’m absolutely exhilarated,” Pierce said, patting his seven-year-old yellow lab. “I’m a little choked up right now.”
“I am extremely proud of him, but I am not one bit surprised he did it. That’s just how Randy is,” said Pierce’s wife, Tracy, who led a group of friends to meet him at the summit with music, noisemakers and bells.
Pierce climbed the peaks in support of 2020 Vision Quest, a non-profit group that raises funds for the New Hampshire Association for the Blind and Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Pierce, who began losing his vision in 1989 due to a neurological disease and went completely blind in 2000, said he wants to ensure anyone who goes through vision loss has access to services like those that helped him.
The disease also affected his cerebellum, causing such severe vertigo he was confined to a wheelchair from 2004 to 2006. After a series of experimental treatments, he began to walk again.
“The most important thing I can tell anyone is the choice we make in how to respond to our life is going to have a bigger influence on our life than anything else ever could,” he said.
His guide dog, Quinn was presented with the Order of the Golden Biscuit at Saturday’s climb, making him the fourth canine to have completed the 48 peaks in a single winter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2020 vision quest, animals, blind, climbing, disabilities, first, golden biscuit, guide dog, guiding eyes, hiker, hiking, mighty quinn, mountains, new hampshire, order of the golden biscuit, peaks, pets, quinn, randy pierce, randy zip pierce, the 48, the mighty quinn, winter
After seven days missing in the frigid mountains of west-central New Mexico, 67-year-old hiker Robert Sumrall was found semi-conscious with his dog, a black Labrador mix named Zulu, lying atop him.
Two ranchers found Sumrall, but they inadvertently scared away his dog — who many now believe may have saved his master’s life by keeping him warm.
Sumrall, of El Paso, has regained consciousness, but hasn’t been able to talk, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News, and the search for Zulu continues.
Sumrall’s wife, Jan Sumrall, a former El Paso city council member, said her husband, though frostbitten, and voiceless from a tracheotomy, is slowly recovering. Meanwhile, his family and dog lovers in several states aren’t giving up on the search for Zulu, who is being called a hero.
A reward fund has reached $3,500, according to the El Paso Times, and has led other hikers to join El Paso’s Animal Rescue League in the search for the dog.
The Animal Rescue League installed live traps and took food and clothes from Robert Sumrall to the search area last week. They have also posted flyers around the area.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rescue league, atop, dog, el paso, found, freezing, fund, hiker, jan sumrall, labrador, lay, laying, lost, lying, missing, new mexico, on top, reward, robert sumrall, saved, saves, warmed, warms, zulu