A dog who was abandoned on Poland’s highest mountain was rescued by a group of climbers who found him on the top of the icy peak.
The climbers discovered the terrified small 22-pound (10 kilo) black and tan dog at the top of Rysy mountain, which is 8,200 feet (2500 m) above sea level and located in Tatra National Park. They believe that the dog was purposely left there, as there is no way the dog could have climbed the craggy, treacherous mountain by himself.
At first, the group called Tatra Voluntary Rescue Service for help but they were told a helicopter or rescue team would not be sent.
One of the rescuers named Krystian told Polish media outlets that they tried several other rescue outlets and resources in an attempt to get a harness or other gear they could use to rescue the dog, but were unsuccessful. They gave up trying after their mobile phones died they could not make any further calls for help.
They then took what climbing equipment they had and fashioned a makeshift harness for the dog and began their descent. On steep sections where there are chains, the climbers handed the dog down from one to the other. Twice, holding him in her arms, they slipped.
Over time, the dog began to trust them, but sometimes he was so frightened that he would hug the rocks and refuse to move. The group ran out of water and ate melting snow to stay hydrated. It took them a total of 10 hours to descend to the bottom safely with the dog.
They arrived exhausted at a hostel for the night. As it turned out, there were not beds available and the tired team of rescuers were offered accommodation on the floor, but their rescue was refused entry. Not wanting to leave the dog alone, one of the climbers slept outside with him.
The next morning a Park Security Guard took the dog to the closest animal shelter.
Animal activist Anna Plaszczyk, with Viva! The International Movement for Animals, said the dog was likely brought up the peak to die. If starvation and hypothermia did not get him, he could have easily fallen to his death. She’s urging witnesses to come forward so that the person(s) responsible can be charged with animal cruelty.
The Associated Press reported that the dog has been named Rysa and will be available for adoption.