Lucky Dog Survives 300-Foot Fall from Cliff

dog fell 300 feet off cliff and lived

Toby may be an English Sheepdog/Poodle mix, but he apparently has something in common with cats: nine lives. And he just used up one of them during a hike with his family near Zion National Park in Utah.

As the McInnes family walked along a Gooseberry Mesa trail April 7, their 1-year-old, 75-pound pup saw something — a squirrel, perhaps? — and took a leap off a cliff. He fell 150 feet, then tumbled down another 150 feet.

“For a split second you hope that he landed on something, but I knew there was nothing over there,” Ben McInnes, Toby’s dog dad, told KSL. “It was awful. You could hear him sliding and bouncing and yelping.”

Meg McInnes, Toby’s dog mom, called 911. The dispatcher couldn’t promise her that a search-and-rescue team would show up to save Toby.

But, about an hour later, the rescuers arrived.

“When those things happen, we try and help them out,” Deputy Darrell Cashin, with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, told KSL. “It’s not something we normally do, just going to rescue a dog, but it’s just the complication of: If we don’t, who else is going to try and get down to him?”

Mike Thomas, the first responder to reach Toby, carried him all the way back up the steep cliff.

Toby suffered head, brain and eye injuries, as well as a lot of scrapes, but he will live to bark about his plunge. He’s now resting at his home in Eagle Mountain, Utah, according to the Associated Press.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I’ve had patients fall 20 feet and die,”  Dr. Kelly Houston, the veterinarian who treated Toby, told KSL. “I’ve never had one do what Toby did and survive.”

Here’s to a speedy recovery. And here’s hoping that on future hikes, the McInnes family keeps Toby on a very short leash.

Photo via Twitter

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!