The dog who fell off a cliff at Thacher Park -- and lived

dog rescued after falling at Thacher Park

The dog in the photo above -- Shiba, a Shiba Inu puppy -- was rescued Sunday after it fell off a cliff at Thacher Park.

From the Albany County Sheriff's Office press release:

Apparently "Shiba", a six month old Shibainu puppy had run off of a cliff located in the Hales Cave area of Thacher Park. Shiba was being walked in the area by her owner, Samantha Cullum of East Greenbush, when she strayed away from her owner and ran off of the cliff. The Albany County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team responded and repelled down the cliff to locate the canine. After an extensive search, Shiba was found hiding in a three foot deep crevice by members of the Search and Rescue Team. Shiba suffered what appeared to be a broken leg and was treated by Albany County Paramedics on the scene. Shiba was transported by her owner to the Latham Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary care. Albany County Sheriff's Patrol members, Albany County Paramedics, and maintenance staff from Thacher Park also assisted in the search.

Shiba's story about all this is totally going to trump the other dogs' stories about squirrels and tennis balls at the next dog park meetup.

Update: The dog's owner tells the TU she and the dog were far away from the cliffs when the dog took off -- and acknowledges she should have had the dog on a leash.

photo courtesy of Albany County Sheriff's Office


Just one more reason - among many, many others - to keep your dogs leashed when out and about.

ok, i know accidents can happen to anyone. and i'm not saying this to be mean or place blame. but WHY wasn't this dog on a leash?! at 6 months old, dogs are still puppies... and even the most well trained dogs have instincts and may not listen if they see something worth running after. i'm so happy this story has a good ending. but please please please keep your dogs on leashes unless you are in a safe fenced in area!

As a dog owner I feel for the dog but not the owner ok maybe I shouldn't be so harsh without knowing the exact details. Seriously why would you have your puppy off a leash in a public area that most likely your dog doesn't know. If the dog jump out of the car that's one thing but your on the side of a hugh cliff common sense people.

I'm truly happy that the puppy was able to be rescued and recovery is an option. Not all mistakes have happy endings. As a devoted animal lover I must agree that at 6 months old in such an open, unfamiliar area....LEASH comes to mind. I hope it is a lesson learned.

The owner should have to pay the rescue cost and then some.

T.U. this morning reports the dog's front paw has to be amputated. It happens that dogs (and cats) can manage reasonably well with 3 legs, but it's a shame the pup has to endure this.

Let me add that I feel some sympathy for the owner, while in no way condoning the thoughtlessness of letting her puppy run off leash. But she thought she was in a safe area. Sure, she thought wrong, but we all make mistakes. She's now been publicly identified in the newspaper as a Truly Lousy Pet Owner, and she's going to have life long-guilt whenever she looks at her 3-legged dog.

As for the idea that she should have to pay for the rescue: I bet many rescues, and fires that get put out, and ambulances that show up at auto accidents are the result of an imperfect human who made a poor judgement. The mother who lost her child in the fire on Benson St. had turned on her her stove burners (for some warmth) and then took a nap, but nobody is suggesting she foot the bill for the fire department putting out the fire. Rescue is "no-fault" in a humane society.

The irresponsible moment was not to let a Shiba run around off the leash in an unknown place.

The irresponsible moment was to adopt a Shiba without researching the breed.

Never EVER let a Shiba off the leash.

(Shiba Owner)

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