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Former Marine Rappels Into 350-Foot Canyon To Save A Stranded Puppy

Imagine going on a strenuous hike in the canyons of Arizona. You’ve been rappelling in and out of a maze of deep caverns and twisting pathways. It’s hot, and you’re exhausted. Suddenly you come across a heartbreaking sight—an abandoned baby animal at the bottom of a long drop.

That’s exactly what Zak Anderegg, a former Marine sergeant, discovered during his solo excursion near Page, AZ. One minute, he was walking along, solo. The next, he found something that led to a wild rescue…

Former Marine sergeant Zak Anderegg was out for a hike in Arizona when he saw a small puppy at the bottom of a canyon, desperately in need of help.


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

Zak had to rappel a whopping 350 feet in order to even reach the little dog, who was clearly starving and almost too weak to stand. Thankfully, Zak was able to retrieve food and water for the poor guy, though he wasn’t able to lift him to safety until he had the proper gear.


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

The big question: how did the puppy get there? “This is where I came from, and it required a rope,” Zak says, pointing to the entrance to the pit where the puppy was trapped. “The only way he got here without having broken legs is someone actually put him here.”


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

The next morning, Zak—armed with his ATV, 650 feet of rope, and a cat carrier—was able to perform the dangerous one-man rescue operation. Once out of the canyon, he rushed the puppy, now named Riley, to the closest veterinarian where he was diagnosed with serious malnutrition. But that wasn’t the only problem…


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

Riley also had three shotgun pellets under his skin. Poor baby!


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

Though still weak, Zak was able to bring Riley home to his new family in Salt Lake City in just two days. It took a few weeks, but he finally recovered, and is as happy as can be.


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

“Lots of love, healthy food, and some much needed affection were all he needed,” Anderegg says in the video. “Having a big brother to pester may have helped a bit too…”

canyon-puppy6-664x351Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

Riley’s entire story is documented in Zak’s book, Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A Man and His Dog’s Struggle to Find Salvation.


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

The pup also appeared on The Today Show and Ellen with Ellen Degeneres, who gifted him with a lifetime supply of dog food. Lucky!


Source: rescuingrileysavingmyself

To watch the entire daring rescue, including Zak rappelling down the canyon, check out the video.

It looks like this pooch will always have a safe home from now on.

If you liked this heartwarming story, share it with your friends and family!

 Source: boredomtherapy


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