The Cook County sheriff is praising a Minnesota DNR conservation officer for going "above and beyond" to rescue a family's dog that fell from a cliff on the North Shore.
Sheriff Pat Eliasen in a post on Facebook Monday commended Conservation Officer Mary Manning for rescuing the dog when "other options were not available."
According to Eliasen, the family was hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail with their dog Bogi when the dog freed himself from his leash and ran into the woods.
Bogi's owner, Julian Stanke, wrote in a Facebook post that he and his girlfriend, Amanda, had tied up their dogs, Ted and Bogi, to take a photo together. But when they went to untie the dogs, Bogi got away, taking off "full sprint and quickly ran out of sight."
"We searched everywhere for him, but nothing," Stanke wrote. "Then the rain came. We were soaked, panicked, cold, worried and on our own. Cook County Dispatch had tried to reach out to Ropes Teams, rescue, etc., but due to weather and the [approaching] dark, the conditions were unsafe for them to come out."
Then they heard Bogi bark and peered over the edge. Bogi had fallen over a cliff, about 30 feet down, but appeared to be uninjured.
"We spent an hour trying to find a path to him with no success, and as the sun went down, we had to make the difficult choice to leave him overnight. It was awful," Stanke wrote.
The family sought help on the Superior Hiking Trail Facebook page, asking anyone with climbing gear for help.
Manning saw their posts and contacted the family, Sheriff Eliasen said. They met the next morning, May 31, where Bogi was stranded. Manning used climbing equipment to help Stanke get down to Bogi, then help hoist Bogi back up.
Other than a scraped elbow, Bogi was fine, Stanke wrote, thanking people for their support and "especially to our hero, CO Mary Manning, without whom we may never have ended up home safely."
"I believe that CO Manning went above and beyond her capacity as a law enforcement officer to place herself at considerable risk for the well-being of a family pet," Sheriff Eliasen said. "This is the type of dedication and selflessness that everyone in law enforcement should emulate when they take their oath.
"To place the wishes of others before your personal safety, to be altruistic and sincerely ready to give everything of yourself for the safety and welfare of others, is the true heart of a saint," Eliasen added. "We are extremely fortunate to have someone with these qualities working and living in Cook County."
The DNR says if you're going hiking, you should be prepared for any length hike, be aware of the weather and bring a map, FOX 21 says. And if your pet gets lost on the trail, leave articles of clothing for them to track and follow to safety.