Search & Rescue Crews Help 190-Pound Mastiff, Owner In Millcreek Canyon

Oct 14, 2019, 6:44 PM | Updated: 9:27 pm

MILLCREEK, Utah — It was a chilly weekend up in Utah’s mountains, and a busy one for Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews, making sure nobody — and no pets — had to spend the night out in the cold.

Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, calls started coming in from other hikers about a man with a very large dog that just wasn’t moving, a couple of miles up the Grandeur Peak Trailhead in Millcreek Canyon.

“Last night was a little unique,” said Ryan Clerico, Salt Lake County Search and Rescue squad leader. “We don’t regularly rescue pets.”

Clerico said they were not sure exactly what the problem was until they reached the hiker and his dog up the trail, in the dark. It turned out that the dog was a 190-pound, 3-year-old Mastiff named Floyd.

Floyd and his owner started on the trail around 8 a.m. Sunday. They summited Grandeur Peak and then got off trail on the way back down.

“When we found them, they had been out there for close to 14 hours,” Clerico said. “The dog was able to walk about 20 feet and then just lay back down.”

Rescuers wanted to get them off the mountain before the cold of the night set in. When they reached Floyd and his owner, the man told rescuers he was getting ready to hunker down for the night.

“I think it was good that we got there when we did because it was going to be a very cold night for both of them to spend up there,” Clerico said.

They coaxed Floyd onto a stretcher and brought him down the mountain, wrapping up the operation around 10:30 p.m.

“Floyd was a good boy and was happy to be assisted,” crews said in a statement.

Our patient Floyd tonight being carried down Grandeur Peak.

Posted by Salt Lake County Sheriff's Search and Rescue on Sunday, October 13, 2019

Clerico said to keep in mind that dogs need food and water on a hike, just like humans. They get worn out in tough conditions, and it’s important to know how far your dog can go.

Search & Rescue Seeing Additional Calls

“It was a busy weekend. We had two rescues going on at the same time on Saturday night,” Clerico said.

One night earlier, three climbers in Little Cottonwood Canyon had to be rescued after they got disoriented in the dark. At the same time, a hiker on Mount Olympus was in trouble.

“Got up high. Got into some cliffy areas, didn’t have a light,” Clerico said.

So far, Salt Lake County Search and Rescue crews have been on 55 missions this season. That’s fewer than last year, but they’re catching up quickly, as they typically handle between 50 and 90 missions each year.

Search and rescue team members were back on the Grandeur Peak Trail again Monday afternoon, heading up to help a hiker near the summit with an ankle injury.

“Be prepared with your food, water, and a couple of extra layers this time of year,” Clerico said.

It’s also a good idea to pack a headlight or flashlight, he said. A month ago, there was plenty of light for an evening hike. Now, the sun sets before 7 p.m. and the temperature drops quickly.

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Search & Rescue Crews Help 190-Pound Mastiff, Owner In Millcreek Canyon