Thousands of families know the heartache of losing their dogs and cats around this time of year, when they get spooked by the loud fireworks and scatter to the winds.
Tinkerbell, a 10-year-old mastiff, took a trip with her family from their home in Arizona to Southern California, during the Fourth of July weekend. When the kids started setting off fireworks, she ran… and ran, and ran. By the time she stopped, she was 25 miles away, in a dry concrete riverbed just 100 yards from where it meets the ocean.
Thankfully, a passing tourist spotted her and contacted Hope For Paws, an L.A.-based rescue organization, and volunteers immediately set out to rescue the poor pooch. They knew she was someone’s pet since she was still wearing her collar, but it still took some finagling to gain her trust. Once they did, they did a quick visual examination and saw one of her paws was extremely swollen, and probably broken.
As the volunteers soothed her frayed nerves, a group of spectators gathered on an overpass to watch the scene below. It would be impossible for them to carry this massive Mastiff out of the 10-foot embankment, so one of the spectators called the fire department for help.
“During this time I bonded with her, assured her she will be OK with me, and by the time we were ready to go up, she was totally calm and just allowed us to help her,” said Eldad Hagar, the founder of the rescue group.
Soon, a Tinkerbell-sized cage was lowered into the riverbed, the volunteers guided her inside, and she was lifted back up to safety!
Back at the rescue group’s headquarters, a more thorough examination revealed Tinkerbell’s paw had definitely been broken, but she was otherwise in surprisingly good health. On a physical level, anyway. Emotionally, not so much. Someone obviously loved and cared about her and she just wanted to be back with her family.
Thankfully, she’d been microchipped, so it was just a matter of making a phone call to arrange the reunion! Tinkerbell had disappeared on July 3rd, and her family had looked for her for days before finally returning to Arizona, completely brokenhearted. You can imagine how ecstatic they must have been to learn that she’d been found and was safe and sound, just waiting for them to come pick her up!
Check out the video below to see this rescue operation unfold, and share to remind pet owners to keep their pets inside during this busy fireworks season.