Cave rescue team rescues 12-year-old cockapoo from narrow crevasse in upstate New York park


A 12-year-old cockapoo was rescued Tuesday after falling into a narrow rock crevice in a park in upstate New York five days earlier.

The dog named Liza was walking with her owner, who has not been named, last Thursday at the Minnewaska State Park Reserve when she fell into the deep crevasse.

The helpless dog lay there for five days without food or water as park officials tried to save him several times, as they struggled to reach the frightened animal in the narrow crevasse.

When they sent a camera, they found the bitch so thirsty that she was licking the wet sides of the rock face.

A 12-year-old cockapoo named Liza was rescued from a narrow rock crevice on Tuesday in Minnewaska State Park Preserve in upstate New York.

New Jersey Initial Response Team member Jessica Van Ord slipped into the skinny crevasse to retrieve Liza

New Jersey Initial Response Team member Jessica Van Ord slipped into the skinny crevasse to retrieve Liza

Liza had been stuck in the crevasse since last Thursday after slipping through it on a walk with her owner.  Camera footage showed Liza licking wet walls as she had no food or water source

Liza had been stuck in the crevasse since last Thursday after slipping through it on a walk with her owner. Camera footage showed Liza licking wet walls as she had no food or water source

On Tuesday, five days after Liza slipped into the narrow cave, the New Jersey Initial Response Team was able to lower the team’s smallest member, Jessica Van Ord, into the crevasse.

She described the difficulty of navigating the cramped rocks.

“Fortunately, I could still stand, albeit sideways, and I could turn my head if I needed to while playing with my headphones,” she said.

After several squeezes in the crevasse, Van Ord spotted the dog who was still alive and breathing.

Van Ord, the smallest member of the cave rescue team, slipped into the crevasse she described as

Van Ord, the smallest member of the cave rescue team, slipped into the crevice which she described as “a crack that only a 5-year-old could cross”

Van Ord said it took her several pushes until she found the dog at the bottom of the deep, thin crevice

Van Ord said it took her several pushes until she found the dog at the bottom of the deep, thin crevice

Van Ord said she had to continually adjust her stance and hard hat as she walked through

Van Ord said she had to continually adjust her stance and hard hat as she walked through

Liza remained just out of reach of Van Ord who decided to try to lure the animal towards her with a hot dog on a pole.

Eventually the dog was tied to the lasso and brought to safety.

“Finally, lassoing the dog, we pulled him up and I sighed in relief as I grabbed his little hairy body. “I have the dog! “I screamed and heard cheers above,” she said.

The dog, now unharmed, was then finally reunited with its owner around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

NJRIT volunteer colleague lowered a lasso pole with a hot dog at the end to catch Liza

NJRIT volunteer colleague lowered a lasso pole with a hot dog at the end to catch Liza

“It was a narrow vertical crack leading to an even narrower horizontal crack,” said Mark Dickey, the leader of the cave rescue team, according to a press release.

“Only Jessica Van Ord, our smallest member of the team, was able to squeeze and contort over 40 feet from the surface to reach the dog.”

Joshua Laird, executive director of the executive director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, praised the work of the NJIRT and reminded visitors to keep their dogs on a leash.

“We are delighted that it has been possible to reunite Liza with her owner,” said Laird.

“This incident is a reminder that rules requiring dogs to be kept on a leash is an important way to protect beloved pets, their owners and the park’s fragile resources.

“We are grateful for the perseverance of the staff at the Minnewaska State Park Reservation, the New Jersey Initial Response Team, the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the ‘Kerhonkson Accord First Aid Squad and Accord Fire Department for their efforts which brought this’ tail ‘to a happy conclusion.’

Despite the harsh conditions, Liza was picked up and later returned to her owner

Despite the harsh conditions, Liza was picked up and later returned to her owner

Gina Carbonari, executive director of the Ulster County SPCA, also praised Van Ord’s work.

“It is always heartwarming to not only have such a positive result in cases like this, but also to see so many people coming together, putting themselves in danger, to save an animal’s life,” a- she declared.

“We were all worried that the dog didn’t survive until Jessica could come closer and hear a movement.

“The joy on the surface of this news was just amazing and renewed everyone’s motivation to get this little dog to safety.

“Each person played a role in achieving this goal – an incredible team effort from multiple agencies. “

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