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To the Rescue: A Real Cliff-Hanger

A Virginia team helps bring a trapped dog home from the heights

A Virginia team helps bring a trapped dog home from the heights

David Clark, left, the fire chief in Lexington, Va., has an English coonhound named Ticki in tow as he finishes rappelling down a cliff to deliver the dog to a waiting boat. Moments earlier, Clark had rescued Ticki from a ledge where she had been perched for several days. Manning the boat are Sgt. Mike Frost of the Lexington Police Department and Deputy Junior Southers of the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office. ROBERT DAY/ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
How do you get an English coonhound off the side of a cliff?

No, this isn’t a breed joke. It’s a tale of a dramatic rescue, the likes of which animal welfare officials in Lexington, Va., say they had never seen before.

The call came in to Charles Hurley, a Lexington animal control officer, at 10:45 p.m. on July 1: Rockbridge County animal warden Eric Higgins told Hurley a dog was stuck on a ledge above the Maury River, near the Virginia Military Institute. Residents of a nearby subdivision had called the county to report a dog running and barking on the cliff, and Sgt. Scott Bedell of the county sheriff’s office used a thermal imaging camera to spot the hound, named Ticki. The dog was actually on Lexington city property, and thus became Hurley’s responsibility.

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