Humans aren’t the only ones who need rescuing while out on a hike. Sometimes our pets get stranded too. While joining his owner on a hike up the side of Mount Olympus, a Labrador named Leo began to show signs of heat exhaustion. According to Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team, the 120-pound yellow Lab refused to move any further and needed to be assisted in getting back down the mountainside.
While waiting for help, Leo’s owner kept the dog as cool and as hydrated as possible. But their water supply soon dwindled, and they had to rely on the assistance of the rescue team. The temperatures were starting to creep close to 100 degrees by the time that two rescue teams were deployed to go help. According to a Facebook post, the teams had “large amounts of water and rescue equipment to carry the dog down the trail” with them. The arduous hike up to the stranded pooch and his owner took “extra time” because of the heavy equipment they carried with them on a trail that had very little shade.
When the rescue teams finally reached Leo, the heat-stricken dog ended up downing “4 to 5 liters of water” in the teams’ efforts to cool him off. They even used fans to try to bring his temperature down. Even though they did manage to get him cooled off, he was still too weak to make the journey on his own. The team packed him up onto a stretcher and carried him back down to safety.
As the social media post shared, “That process still took several hours. The team was off the mountain around 10:20 PM. Leo looked happy and relieved to be getting the help he needed to get hydrated and get off the mountain.”
According to the rescue teams, it took them roughly six hours and 20 minutes in order to get Leo back down. The SLCOSAR reported that the rescue team and Leo’s owner were fine after the ordeal, but Leo had to be taken to the local vet’s office to get examined. The good news is that Leo is recovering from his hiking incident. The updated post wrote that Leo is “overcoming his heat exhaustion and his kidney function is returning back to normal, so he should be ok.”
After Leo’s hiking mishap, authorities are issuing warnings to dog owners to be aware of their dogs while hiking. They recommended that owners be mindful of the heat and either do a light hike in the early morning before the midday heat or wait a few more months for more strenuous hikes when the temperatures have cooled off significantly. And always bring plenty of water for your pet.