'Hero' Border Collie leads rescuers to owner, 53, who fell 70 ft off ridge in remote part of Tahoe Forest
A man’s Border Collie acted as a "true Lassie" after he fell 70 feet in a remote section of Tahoe National Forest last week and the animal helped lead a search and rescue team to him, authorities said. The man managed to find a location with cellphone service and dial local authorities, and a team of 25 search and rescue members from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to find him the following day, according to KCRA and the sheriff’s search and rescue team. On Tuesday, July 12, a 53-year-old man and his border collie Saul were camping in Tahoe National Forest when the man fell off a ridge, breaking his hip and multiple ribs, according to Nevada County Sheriff's Search & Rescue (NCSSAR) Facebook post.
The NCSSAR volunteers located the man on their first day of searching but gave Saul credit for the save. "True credit goes to the subject's k9 Border Collie that ran through the forest approximately 200 yards and in true 'LASSIE' fashion to flag down two searchers and led them back to the subject," NCSSAR wrote on Facebook. Once rescuers, led by Saul, reached the injured man, they carefully transported him out of the forest, after which an air ambulance took the dog owner to a hospital for treatment. The next day, Saul reunited with the owner he helped save.
The team pinged the man’s cellphone and talked to a friend to try and determine his location. That’s when the man’s dog, Saul, came barreling through the woods and led the team back to his owner, according to KCRA and the sheriff’s search and rescue team. The team found the man under a camouflage tarp, the post said. "Great work and skill by all involved today and for the Border Collie, he was transported back to Grass Valley and given a well-deserved dinner," the post said.
A friend of the injured man had anticipated that Saul would be leading rescuers to his owner and had shown pictures of the pet to the rescue team, telling them, "look for Saul." "They started following him. They went somewhere between 150 and 200 yards and took them right to the victim," Sergeant Dennis Haack told NBC. Meanwhile, at the hospital, the grateful owner repeatedly requested to be reunited with his rescuer and best friend, Haack said. When the human and dog were finally reunited, Saul was rewarded with a well-deserved beef jerky stick. "He is very lucky that his dog directed our search personnel to him," Haack told NBC.