Rescuers save perched pooch |

Rescuers save perched pooch

WEST GLENWOOD – Rescuers dragged a wayward dog, nicknamed “Cliff,” to safety up a steep wall of rocks Wednesday morning.

Workers at Climate Control Company called Glenwood Springs police around 8:30 a.m. to report a large black dog stranded high on a cliff above Donegan Road, near their business.

Cindie Kay Simillion, Glenwood Springs animal control officer, said the dog’s owner, Jacob Spalding of Carbondale, works at the Gallegos Masonry stone yard near Climate Control. Spalding told officers he let his dog outside around 7 a.m.

Simillion’s guess is “Cliff,” known in real life as Toby, was chasing something when he came to the edge of the cliff and slid down the vertical embankment.

Since the embankment is right on the city limits, Simillion called Garfield County undersheriff Tim Templon and sheriff’s deputies Bob Smith and Jim Sears to assist with the dog’s rescue. Glenwood Springs Police Department’s canine handler Scott Robertson was also called to help out.

At 11 a.m., Smith rappelled down the cliff to Toby, and got a little surprise when he realized the dog wasn’t a black Labrador, as first reported.

“When we looked at the dog with binoculars, he looked like a black Lab,” Simillion said. “But when Bob got to him he radioed to us, `Ah, this is a pit bull.'”

Toby is actually both – a pit bull and Lab mix – and though very cold, he was good-natured about Smith’s arrival. To make sure everyone was safe, Smith put a muzzle on the dog before hauling him up the cliff.

Templon said his department issued Spalding a ticket for dog-at-large, a violation of a Garfield County ordinance.

“Besides being a hazard to wildlife and to others, Toby was a hazard to himself,” Templon said. “Plus, the rescue put several people at risk.”

Simillion said dogs at large are a big problem in Glenwood Springs and outside city limits. She hopes Toby’s ordeal will serve as a warning to others who let their dogs run free without supervision.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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