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Powell River Search and Rescue team answers atypical call

Ropes and stretcher used to rescue dog near Eagle River

Powell River Search and Rescue (PRSAR) crew received a somewhat unusual call last Thursday (April 25) afternoon. An Irish Wolfhound, out with a dog walker, had slid down a steep bank at Eagle River and needed assistance.

"The dog fell down probably a 70-degree slope," said PRSAR manager Chad Honey. "It's not a typical call but we are trained and whether it's a person or a dog we use the same approach to the rescue."

Honey said local veterinarians went out on the call to help with any injuries.

"We made sure the dam operators above us were informed so that the dam didn't open up, for the dog’s safety and ours," said Honey. “We also got a hold of some vets to come with us to treat the dog's injuries and to sedate if needed, to make things easier, especially since dogs aren't really used to being strapped into a stretcher.”

Working under the jurisdiction of Powell River RCMP, Honey said when search and rescue members are called out, they have to be prepared for everything and any kind of situation.

"We used [high angle] rope systems and the stretcher to get the dog back up to the road safely," said Honey. "We gave the dog the same level of professionalism as with any person who was in the same situation."

PRSAR put its rope skills and a new tripod to the test while out on the call. Honey has been with the PRSAR team for three and a half years and was previously with Squamish SAR for 10 years.

"Essentially, all of us are on call 24/7," said Honey. "We try to keep a big enough team that whenever we get a call out, there's enough people available to respond."

Honey said most of the crew are pet owners and/or pet lovers themselves, and that they thank Westview Veterinary Hospital and BC SPCA-Powell River staff for helping out during the call.

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