UPDATE: Owner of Missy, dog left stranded on a Colorado mountain, has agreed to give her to one of her rescuers.

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Missy being rescued by volunteers

Anthony Ortolani left his 5-year-old German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, Missy, behind at 13,000 feet when he was hiking between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans in Colorado. Missy survived for 8 days before being rescued by a group of volunteer rescuers. When she was found she was severely dehydrated and in bad shape.

Ortolani was hiking with his friend’s 19-year-old son when bad weather started to move in. Missy’s feet had become blistered and she was unable to walk. The two men tried carrying Missy for over two hours. With both men becoming fatigued and Missy fighting being carried, the two men made the decision to leave her. Ortolani called Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office when he made it down the mountain, but was told it was too dangerous for an animal rescue. Ortolani says that the climb had been Missy’s sixth successful summit and she’d never had problems previously.

Thanks to Scott Washburn and his wife, who first spotted Missy stranded on the mountain, Missy was successfully rescued 8 days later. Scott and his wife organized a group of experienced hikers to bring Missy down to safety.

Since the story broke of Missy’s rescue by this group of volunteer hikers, Ortolani has received death threats and nasty messages. Ortolani was charged with animal cruelty and will plead guilty to a less-serious violation of a Clear Creek County ordinance.

Ortalani has agreed to give Missy to one of the rescuers. Since her rescue Missy has been in a kennel as the case against Ortolani has been ongoing. He has not been able to see her. Ortaloni doesn’t want her to sit in a kennel and said, “I don’t want to give her up – I love her – but those people risked life and limb to get her out of there, and that has got to be worth something.”

17 thoughts on “UPDATE: Owner of Missy, dog left stranded on a Colorado mountain, has agreed to give her to one of her rescuers.”

  1. He loves the dog ? Really ? If he really loved the dog he would of went back and got her. I am so happy the rescuers get to keep her, she will be much better off.

  2. Dang Everyone, Give the man a break. I hate animal cruelty and I am all about punishing asses who do so. But this is different. Being on a mountain can be tough and storms are life threatening. Who knows how bad the storm was, how fatigued the men were or dehydrated themselves and how bad the dog was fighting. I know you see her being backpacked down in the picture, but she was obviously tuckered. Her owner did call for help. this situation is different than the average animal abuse. Peace

  3. Folks need to back off, relax, and leave this man alone. It is over. Happy that Missy will have a new home.

  4. If the former ‘owner’ had cared enough he would have done more. He just decided she died after a few days and moved on. Nice guy.

    As far as I am concerned this dog was abandoned and had no owner anymore. That’s the law. If you abandon something it is no longer yours. So the former ‘owner’ should have had no say in this at all, he left her with no intention of going back.
    He never should have taken the dog in the first place! No preparation, no boots and no common sense. I wouldn’t trust leaving a child with this man. MHO of course.

  5. When we as guardians of God’s precious creatures, take the privilege of caring for them, they become FAMILY members. Rain, sleet, snow or hail, I would never leave a family member behind. That dog endured 8 days after the owner left him. 8 DAYS!!!! SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!

    I’m feel for the owner who I’m sure is in deep remorse. I offer my sincere condolences for the loss of his right to care for his dog, and pray his heart is saturated in forgiveness for his wrong choice.

    Buona Fortuna Missy the dog~~


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