Here is another news story that I can’t let pass without commenting.
“SAN DIMAS CALIFORNIA (CBS NEWS) — An afternoon hike turned into an overnight ordeal when a couple whose 80-pound dog joined them for the trek couldn’t make it back down the trail.
Officials said the dog, Baxter, a Labrador mix, suffered cuts to his paws from rocks on the trail at the Angeles National Forest, just north of San Dimas. The walk became too hard and he grew too tired, forcing his owners to call police for help.
The couple couldn’t’t carry the dog themselves so they waited overnight for help to arrive.
On Sunday morning, a rescue helicopter arrived and had to completely shut down to calm the frightened dog enough to board. The couple and the dog were eventually airlifted to safety.
The couple, who did not have clothing or camping supplies, was cold when they were picked up, but were said to be doing fine.
OK, I don’t have a Captain or an elected Sheriff to answer to any more and I could care less what PETA thinks of me so I will say what needs to be said. It is a misuse of public safety assets to rescue animals. This is not a new position for me. I have been dispatched to rescue animals, I have seen numerous operations to rescue animals and I thought it was a problem then. Don’t get me wrong, I love(d) my dogs and horses and would do almost anything for them except…ask another man and his crew to risk their lives saving them, especially when it was my fault that they got in that situation in the first place.
Look, you don’t spend taxpayer money, risk very expensive rescue apparatus meant to save human beings and put highly trained personnel in harms way to save an animal. As cold and hard hearted as that may sound to some that is the way it should be. Besides there are myriad private volunteer rescue organizations willing to step up and help and that is the way this case should have been handled.
Now on a different aspect of this, how about the couple that brought their precious Baxter with them on this little adventure but weren’t prepared to spend the night on the mountain when the dog bonked. Hey John Q public, your dog belongs at home and if you absolutely positively must bring it, how about making sure that it is up to the challenge physically because sure as shootin if he isn’t you are going to feel compelled to turn to the public safety system for help which in turn spreads the turd and puts somebody else in a very tough position. If that somebody else answers to an elected official then you can bet SAR assets will be launched because political advisors and PR consultants won’t allow said elected official to pass up an opportunity to look kind, sensitive and magnanimous to his ever more vocal pet loving constituents.
Think I am all wrong about this? What if this helicopter crashed during this non-emergency operation and killed everyone on board. Now you have a dead crew, dead dog, dead passengers (whose family will of course sue), a balled up helicopter that is no longer available to respond to real emergencies involving actual people. Not to mention the fact that California doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of financially and has no business rescuing a fat, out of shape, ill prepared fido.
Was it worth all that risk for a dog? Was there a better, less risky, less expensive, more responsible way to pull this off and achieve the same results? How about a manned litter or a wheeled litter carry out. Hey, call me and I will hump the damn dog out on my back but leave the public safety guys to more important work. Come on folks. Be smart about this stuff and let’s not totally abandon what little common sense seems to be left in this part of the world.
Lastly, why did the reporter reveal the dogs name and not the humans? Clearly biased and not cool. After all, Baxter didn’t have a choice in this. Baxter “joined them for the trek”? Yea, like Baxter decided to drive up separately and meet them at the trailhead. No. Those people took, coerced is more like it, Baxter with them even though I’ll bet that if Baxter had been given a choice he would have said (Wilfred) are you nuts I am in no shape to go on a hike. Just goes to show you that many times pets are smarter than their owners.
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