The Paria Plateau near Page, Arizona is a stunning natural wilderness area. Protected as part of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, the area is remote, peaceful, and quiet. Usually.
In late September, however, it was the opposite — a small passenger plane crashed into the area, killing one passenger and injuring another.
As the wreckage smoldered, a tan dog, fortunately unharmed, hopped from the plane and looked around. For miles, there was nothing but earth, sparse vegetation, and sandstone structures piercing the darkening sky.
Then, the AZDPS Western Air Rescue crew arrived. As their helicopter descended on the scene of the crash, its blades whipped the arid sand into the air, filling the pup’s ears with a deafening roar. According to a Facebook post shared by AZDPS, the rescuers watched as he fled the scene, fearing for his life for the second time that day.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
The rescue crew watched as he ran; their main priority was securing the scene and looking for survivors, but they also feared what would happen to the dog out in the wilderness.
After helping the survivors of the crash, the team looked for the dog but couldn’t find him. They left, and days passed before they returned with federal investigators.
Fortunately, “when our Central Air Rescue crew flew federal investigators back to the crash scene on Saturday, September 25, they spotted the missing dog lying next to the plane wreckage. The pup fled the area again when the helicopter landed, but crew members used water to lure him back and get a leash on him. He was tired, thirsty, and hungry, but this tough guy seemed to be in decent shape for having survived a plane crash and a few days in the Arizona wilderness,” Arizona’s Department of Public Safety wrote in a press release.
The pup was flown to Page Airport and handed over to a Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy who had the pleasure of returning him to his family, who had been worried sick.
“AZDPS is grateful we could assist CCSO and help reunite this pup with the family at such a difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones,” the team wrote.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →