‘Unbelievable:’ Dog survives 170-foot fall in Red River Gorge

Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team said it’s nothing short of a miracle after they got a call to rescue a dog that fell off a cliff in the Red River Gorge. (Wolfe County Search and Rescue/Facebook)

WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – While training in the Red River Gorge this weekend, the Wolfe County Search and Rescue team got a call about a frantic hiker who lost their dog over the edge of a 170-foot cliff near Indian steps after it tried to chase a lizard.

“We’ve done several rescues there, it’s a huge cliff, it’s overhanging so you’re not going to hit a cliff edge on the way down, you’re basically just in free air until you make contact with the ground,” said John May, the captain of Wolfe County Search and Rescue.

May and his team feared the worst, but as they traveled down the Bison Way trailhead, they met a group of hikers who had seen a dog who wouldn’t get close to them roaming around. Just a few minutes later after calling for the dog, it miraculously came running out of the woods with only minor scrapes.

“He wasn’t limping, he was just running around like a normal dog would, so it was just crazy, unbelievable, I mean I don’t know how you survive a fall whether it’s a human or an animal that far,” May said.

Now as we get deeper into these fall months and as more trees lose their leaves, John May said these trails can become more dangerous, which is why it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind.

“Us out there hiking around or even with your animals, be really cautious around cliff ledges now because as leaves start to fall off the trees, they can make the sandstone cliffs even slicker,” May said.

And while the gorge doesn’t have leash laws in place, May suggests that pet owners use leashes, especially near higher cliff areas.

“It’s a good idea to keep your animal on a leash, I mean just for their safety, other hikers that you may encounter, other dogs that you may run into,” May said.

May said it’s best to practice safety when on any hike because even if you’re not along a cliff edge, trees and brush can block the view of a steep drop off on many of the gorge’s trails.

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