EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Animal law enforcement officers in El Paso County risked their own safety to save a dog from the side of a cliff near Fountain Creek.
Officials say a business owner with a keen eye told officers he recognized something different about the scenery.
“(He) saw a black dot that he has never seen before on the cliffside,” officer Elizabeth Barker said.
Using binoculars, Barker said she was able to confirm the black dot was, in fact, a dog.
“We didn’t have any rope or anything on our trucks,” Barker said.
Barker and her partner found a horse stable nearby and asked for a rope to get on with their mission to save the dog.
“We are all trained to think outside of the box,” Barker said.
Using their training, Barker said they anchored the rope to a nearby tree and a fence, she then used the rope to rappel down the 50-yard high cliff to the dog.
“When she saw us, she was so happy to see somebody, you could tell,” Barker said. “She was very wiggly, she was trying to crawl towards us.”
The ground, Barker said, was sandy and loose making it difficult to keep her footing. She remained intent on getting to the dog.
“Trying not to panic, externally, trying to get to her as fast as we could,” Barker said.
The thought of hurting herself for the sake of rescuing a dog, Barker said, was the last thing on her mind.
“Everything was going to be totally fine, I was going to get the dog and we were going to get out of there, both of us ok and I just kept continuing to tell myself that,” Barker said.
Barker’s partner brought a catchpole down to her, Barker said, which she wrapped around the dog’s neck and shoulder to raise her up to safety.
After she was rescued, the officers learned the dog’s name was Jessie Lee.
“It really was a great ending, a perfect ending for this story,” Barker said.
Jessie Lee was returned to her owner thanks to a collar that identified her, according to Barker. She said the dog was also chipped which helped return her home after going missing for two weeks.