AUSTIN — An adventurous dog wandering off-leash fell from a 70-foot cliff but was quickly saved after a member of a special operations rescue team happened to be having lunch nearby.
As Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Capt. R. Luddy was eating lunch near the Pennypacker Bridge while waiting for other special operations rescue team members to do rope training, a group of concerned people approached him. They said a dog had fallen off a nearby cliff.
Luddy quickly sprang into action.
“I grabbed my med bag and ropes, and started running towards the scene,” he said in a statement. “I called Medic 17 (who was on the way for training) and told them what was going on. I got to the top of the cliff and found the owner, who had been calling to his dog franticly with no response.”
Luddy rigged an anchor strap to a tree and rappelled down the cliff. He did not expect to find Stout alive.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to do much for the dog,” Luddy told KXAN. “I thought I was going to be able to get this gentleman’s dog’s body back, so he didn’t have to go home empty handed.”
After a brief search, Luddy found Stout, who was somehow unharmed. Luddy fashioned a leash from some rescue ropes, found a trail and walked Stout back to his owner.
“He must have fallen about 70 feet, and hit a few branches and bushes on the way down,” Luddy said in a statement. “I was ecstatic to find him in such good condition.”
Luddy said Stout fell because he was off-leash and got too close to the edge of the cliff, KXAN reported.
Stout was taken to a veterinarian for evaluation.