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Dog Rescued After Injuring Back on Leaf-Peeping Hike

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Leaf-peeping is an autumnal tradition – and there’s no better way to soak up the beauty of the fall foliage than with your four-legged friend. One dog, however, had a harrowing experience recently while checking out the fall colors on a hike in the North Carolina mountains. He suffered a back injury that required a rescue mission!

Rescuers save dog injured on hiking trail

According to Essentially Sports, a man decided to take his fur baby along on a nature hike to admire the stunning fall leaves. The pair were hiking through the rugged terrain of Linville Gorge when the dog suffered a sudden and severe back injury.  

The hiker recognized the pain the dog was in and tried to carry the dog. Unfortunately, he only made it two miles. Then, exhaustion and dehydration took hold. So, the hiker called for help.

A huge team of helpers responded. More than a dozen firefighters, plus Burke County Search and Rescue squad members, descended on the area. They traversed the challenging Pinchin Trail in order to assist the hiker and his dog. The rescue mission took five hours total, but the massive team eventually carried the dog out of the gorge in a basket.

Pictures of the heroic rescue quickly spread on social media and the news.

“Patients, crews and dog have made it safely out of the woods,” Burke County Search and Rescue wrote in a Facebook post. “Sometimes four legs just aren’t enough to make it out of The Linville Gorge. Thank you to all our volunteers for their hard work!”

Hiking safety for dog parents

Hiking is an excellent physical activity to share with your four-legged friend. However, it’s crucial to take precautions to ensure your pup’s safety.

First, evaluate your dog’s fitness level and choose trails that match their abilities. Second, pack enough water and snacks for both of you, considering the duration and intensity of the hike. Remember to bring dog waste bags and a first-aid kit for emergencies as well. Third, protect your dog’s paws with booties if the terrain is rough or hot. Fourth, keep your dog leashed to prevent wildlife interactions and to comply with leash laws. Fifth, be mindful of trail etiquette, yielding to other hikers and ensuring your dog doesn’t disturb wildlife or fellow trekkers.

And, last but not least, make sure your cellphone is fully charged before you head out on a hike. You never know when you will need to make an SOS call like the hiker in this story!

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