Search and rescue crew tries to save dog stuck on cliffside near Provo

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 22:35:45-05

PROVO, Utah — A dog is finally home and recovering from a dreadful run-away attempt that left her trapped on a cliffside near Provo for two nights.

The dog, a beagle named Mary, left her house on Friday.

The owner contacted a Utah County Search and Rescue climber who happened to be his neighbor. The next day, a team of climbers went up the 800 to 900 steep mountain side to try to bring Mary back home safely.

“There was kind of a ledge maybe about a foot, foot-and-a half then virtually nothing that the dog kept going back and forth on,” explained SAR volunteer Shaun Roundy.

Roundy used a Go-Pro camera to document the journey and his attempts to earn Mary’s trust.

With the help of his fellow search and rescue crew members, Roundy rappelled down the cliffside, then traversed 30 feet to get closer to Mary.

Roundy lured Mary with treats and she reluctantly took them, but she leapt back and nipped at Roundy when he tried to grab her collar.

“I just got two fingers just under the collar and it broke away and I never got another chance," Roundy said.

Roundy later found out from the dog’s owner that Mary had been abused in the past and she can be scared of strangers.

“The whole time going into it, we thought this dog has been freezing overnight -coldest night of the year - it's going to be really happy to get some food and someone welcoming you, that's when we found out how skittish it was," Roundy said.

The team had risked their lives going up to save Mary. But after trying for hours to get her to come down, Roundy had to think of his team and their freezing conditions. They were forced to leave Mary there, but they did leave her with some provisions.

“I did my best to get her to trust me. We backed off and that was hard to do. We left her with a big tin of sardines and a whole package of jerky, a granola bar. Along with the heat packs for her to sit on," Roundy said.

Mary came down the mountain the next day on her own – with only bruising and a few cuts.

To see the video of her attempted rescue shot and edited by Shaun Roundy: