Role reversal as Saint-Bernard dog needs rescue after fall in Pyrénées

The 75kg dog, whose breed is well known for its mountain rescue skills, needed evacuating on a stretcher after it fell 10m from a steep path

15 July 2021
Saint-Bernard dog O'neill is rescued from the mountain on a stretcher. Role reversal as Saint-Bernard dog needs rescue after fall in Pyrénées

The dog, named O’neill, luckily recovered quickly from his fall Pic: PGHM Ariège / Facebook

By Hannah Thompson

Saint-Bernard mountain dogs are known for their rescue skills, but one needed rescuing itself last week after the 75-kilo animal suffered a 10m fall.  

The dog, named O’neill, fell on July 11 in the mountains of Ariège, southern France and needed saving by the PGHM mountain rescue services (peloton de gendarmerie de haute montagne).

The dog had been walking with his owner, but fell from a very steep path. Having injured his paws, the animal could not get up or continue walking.

His owner called the PGHM, which came to the dog’s aid and evacuated him from the mountain on a stretcher. The animal was then given care by a vet.

Luckily, the dog’s injuries were only superficial and he began to recover quickly.

O’neill’s owner later wrote on the PGHM Facebook page: “My O’neill is strong; nothing broken, no internal injuries. He is starting to walk again, his appetite has returned. Just a few injuries, bruises, sprains. We are watching over him. 

“Thanks to this star who shone on Sunday, and thanks again to the Peloton de la Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne de l'Ariège.”

The PGHM took the opportunity to remind dog owners to take great care in mountain areas and on rocky trails and said that dogs are often banned from some nature reserves and national parks, and must always be kept on a lead near other animals.

Chief PGHM officer Jérôme Bourrières said: “This incident must remain an exception. Usually, we don’t do animal rescues. In this case, we intervened to help the owner, so that he wouldn’t put himself in danger to go and rescue his dog.”

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