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Montrose Search & Rescue Saves Injured Dog at Switzer Falls

Truman, a 4-year-old dog, injured his paws along Switzer Falls and needed a lift from the Montrose Search & Rescue Team out of Switzer Falls in Angeles National Forest on Sunday.

It's not always common, but sometimes man's best friend needs a rescue out of Angeles National Forest, according to Montrose Search & Rescue officials. 

Brad Kurtz, his son Jackson, friend Scott and two dogs Misty and Truman set out to hike Switzer Falls Sunday when Truman, who weighs about 80 pounds, starting bleeding on his paws from the tough terrain. Switzer Falls is located above La Cañada off Angeles Crest Highway. 

Kurtz has hiked the Switzer Falls trail before, but didn't expect it to be difficult for the canine, he told Patch. 

"I had hiked through Switzer Falls, but never through Bear Creek or Bear Canyon," Kurtz said. "The dog's feet were cut up from the rocks coming down the hill. I didn't realize that the trail was very rugged down there and once he got down there the dog was struggling and having a hard time." 

The Westchester resident told his friend, son and the other dog to continue hiking and find the park ranger for help while he stayed with the dog. 

By 8 p.m. Sunday Montrose Search & Rescue Team helped rescue the dog, Sheriff's Reserve Chief Mike Leum told Patch. 

The rescue team arrived armed with head lamps, ropes and a stretcher for Truman, Kurtz said. 

"It was great. It was so wonderful to see those guys. When we got to the [parking] lot there were maybe about 10 people there. I was happy to be there but a little embarassed that i had caused that much trouble, so I was extremely grateful for those guys and it was great when they came down with a one-wheeled stretcher," Kurtz said. 

The team loaded up the dog on the stretcher and Truman seemed pretty happy, Kurtz said. 

"There was no way I was going to abandon my dog, but I was pretty nervous because I didn't know if I was going to have to spend the night," Kurtz said.  

The pet-owner warned other people not to make his mistake. 

"Know how rugged the trail is. You got to know how rugged the trail is before you comitt to something like that and know better than I did [about] what your dog's capabilities are," Kurtz said. 

Truman now has bandaged paws and moves slowly, although his veterinarian said the dog should be recover in upcoming days. 

Kathryn Sweeney April 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Aw! Poor little pup. Almost made that same mistake with my dog. She loves the Switzer Falls section but I am so glad that my clever friends persuaded me not to take her into Bear Canyon. She would have had a rough time of it. Glad this guy ultimately made it out okay.
J McNally April 26, 2012 at 12:45 AM
What's with the animal stories lately, Patch?! Glad Truman is recovering - and glad Kathryn's pup stayed home!

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