By LISA JOHNSON
Above, Powell County Animal Controll Officer Randall Martin and Steve Asbury, Director of Emergeny Management, are pictured with Cliff. Cliff, a two-year old Australian cattle dog, was rescued after being stranded on a cliff ledge for days.
On Wednesday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. an assistance call came in from Randall Martin the Powell County Animal Control Officer.
A report by neighbors said that a dog had been stranded on a cliff since the previous Friday (March 3). Upon speaking to some of the area neighbors, it was soon discovered that there were up to four dogs stranded on a narrow ledge nearly two hundred feet off the road.
On Wednesday evening Powell County Search and Rescue team members were guided up to the old trail from the backside of the property, which was once used to access an old fire tower which is no longer standing.
PCSAR team member, “Weasle”, made the decision to assist and handed over operation to the Wolfe County Search and Rescue who had their climbers on hand.
Team members worked into the night but were unable to reach the frightened dogs. John May called off the efforts at 8:40 p.m. and teams would resume the following morning.
Thursday morning search and rescue team members, along with Animal Control Officer Randall Martin were back on scene. Team members soon discovered one of the four dogs dead near the base of the cliff, believing that it had fallen sometime during the night.
Not long after that discovery, another dog plummeted over 200 feet down the cliff as team members watch helplessly from their positions atop the cliff side.
The seriously injured animal was given comfort by SAR team member Shirley as it was sedated before being moved.
SAR members and Powell County Judge Executive James Anderson, quickly loaded the dog into the back of Anderson’s vehicle for transport to a veterinary clinic.
All efforts aside, Cory Graham soon relayed a message from Judge Anderson that the animal had died in route. All those assisting in the rescue felt the loss, but continued their efforts with hope.
The one remaining dog was sedated and at 4:30 p.m. Steve Asberry and the dog, which has since been named Cliff, were lowered to safety.
All those who assisted in this rescue felt a great relief of accomplishment. A fourth dog, who was reported missing by an area owner the night before, was soon found and reunited with its owner.
The Powell County Search and Rescue Team would like to thank all of the community supporters for the donations that provided the dog rescue equipment, as well as Powell County Animal Control Officer Randall Martin and his assistants Jason, Tyler and James for their efforts during this rescue. Judge James Anderson, Cory Graham, Airport Market and Wolfe County Search and Rescue along with all of our members. We would also like to thank local media for their coverage during both days of the rescue. They were literally “by our side”.
As of press time no one has come forward to claim any of the dogs. The owners of “Cliff” have been given seven days to claim the dog. “If not, then it will be up to me to find him a home where he’d be adopted out or to a good rescue,” Randall told local news sources
Cliff, who was not injured and seems to be a happy and happy, is an Australian cattle dog who is estimated to be around two years old.
Columnist note: One can assume that they were abandoned, while others would say they were just being dogs, but believe me, there are no words to describe the feeling of watching a living creature fall helplessly to its death, even if it is just a dog. To those who abuse or neglect animals, we certainly hope karma will come back to “bite you”. I would also like to thank Connie Crabtree who works for the Powell County Judge Executive for her help gathering information. Stay safe. LJ