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Dog visiting Michigan state park rescued after falling down cliff

Posted at 12:08 PM, Jul 11, 2022

MUNISING, Mich. — A dog visiting a national park in Michigan was rescued after it jumped over a railing and fell about 30 feet down a cliff over the weekend.

The National Park Service said the incident occurred on Friday at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

In a press release, park rangers near Miners Castle, one of the park's famous landmarks, heard a child scream and went to investigate.

There they found a 4-year-old cocker spaniel - poodle mix named Leo on a ledge, moving and limping around.

According to the release, Leo was leashed but slipped out of his collar after reaching the end of it as he fell.

Officials said that Leo's family, who were visiting from Wisconsin, reassured the dog to stay put so he could be rescued.

A volunteer with the Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals (SHARP) team, John Miller, was lowered down to the dog, who was barking and wagging his tail but wouldn't come to Miller, according to officials.

However, after about 25 minutes of Leo being coaxed and offered dog food, bread, and Goldfish crackers, the dog came to Miller and Chief Ranger Joe Hughes, park officials said.

Using a makeshift harness from webbing that fit Leo, Miller could get himself and the dog back onto the lower overlook platform and reunite Leo with his family, the release said.

“The parks shoreline can be very unforgiving, from the cold water to the sheer cliffs and drop-offs,” Chief Ranger Joe Hughes said. “By partnering with the highly trained mountaineering guides on SHARP, we are able to safely effect these types of high-angle rescues here at the park.”

The release said Leo's family plans to buy him a harness.