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Dog survives after 170-foot fall from cliff in Kentucky, rescuers call it a 'miracle'

Tyler Stinson, the dog's owner, said that Tyson was absolutely healthy with no internal damages
Tyler Stinson was exploring the Red River Gorge with his 'hiking buddy' Tyson -- a pitbull boxer mix when it fell off the cliff (Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team/Facebook)
Tyler Stinson was exploring the Red River Gorge with his 'hiking buddy' Tyson -- a pitbull boxer mix when it fell off the cliff (Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team/Facebook)

In an incident that authorities are saying is a “doggone miracle", a dog in Kentucky fell 170 feet into a gorge but survived unhurt. The incident took place on Sunday, October 24, in Daniel Boone National Forest. “Adrenaline was running through my body, and the only thing I could think about was, ‘Holy crap, he’s alive,'” the pet's owner Tyler Stinson said.

Stinson, a Shelbyville resident, was exploring the Red River Gorge with Tyson, his hiking buddy- a pitbull boxer mix dog. The walk, however, turned into a nightmare when Tyson began chasing a lizard along the top of the Indian Staircase. “He missed the lizard,” Stinson told station WLEX 18. “He kind of flipped himself backward, tumbled twice, and then I saw him roll off the edge.”


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Stinson watched as Tyson fell off the cliff, and immediately called 911 for help. He also began searching for Tyson himself, while other hikers stepped in to help. Wolfe County Search and Rescue was soon on its way. 

According to Chief John May, the area was so bad that they feared nothing but the worst when they arrived. “In my mind, in the team's mind, we were just going in to assist him in recovering his canine,” May said. That soon turned out not to be the case. Tyson was found alive, fit as a fiddle, with only a few scratches. “The minute I saw him, I just folded onto him. That dog is my everything," Stinson said.

Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team took to Facebook to write about the incident, saying, "Another dog gone miracle. Today at approximately 1:00 p.m., WCSART received a 911 call from a hiker on top of Frog’s Head in the Red River Gorge. The frantic owner reported that his dog had fallen off the 170' cliff after chasing a lizard over the edge. A hasty team was dispatched to the Bison Way Trail Head and made their way towards the base of the Frog’s Head cliff-line. When the team was nearing the Indian Staircase cutoff, they encountered a group of hikers who had seen an unleashed dog roaming in the area, and the hikers shared a picture they had taken of the K9," they said. "When the hasty team made contact with the dog owner and showed them the photo, to our absolute amazement, this was their fur baby, Tyson (a Pitbull mix). The team then split to try and help the owners locate Tyson. He was quickly found for a joyful reunion. How Tyson survived 170' fall is nothing short of miraculous and he was basically unhurt. This has certainly been a week of miracles in the Red River Gorge."


Stinson admitted that Tyson was not on a leash when the accident took place, something he will think before doing in the future. He also confirmed that the dog was checked by a veterinarian, who said that Tyson was absolutely healthy with no internal damages. Stinson thanked a number of people, including the search and rescue crews. “At the time, I didn't even know if that was 911 worthy,” he said. “And the fact they took initiative in that, and came out and helped, they're just really good people.” Chief May said that if it was his animal, he too would hope someone would come and help.