Lifeguards Rescue Dog from Cliffs

"Nacho" the pug became stuck on cliffs at the Torrey Pines Glider Port while chasing birds

By Monica Garske
|  Friday, Feb 14, 2014  |  Updated 10:40 PM PDT
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Lifeguards Rescue Dog from Cliffs

NBC 7 San Diego

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A 25-pound dog who was trying to chase birds became stuck on some cliffs in Torrey Pines Friday, leading to a rescue operation by San Diego lifeguards.

The pooch, a pug named "Nacho," found himself in the predicament around 1:45 p.m. at the Torrey Pines Glider Port.

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky told NBC 7 that Nacho, unleashed at the time, got excited while looking at birds and decided to descend down the edge of the cliffs in pursuit of them. He walked down until he  could no more, and then found himself stuck on the cliffs, unable to walk back up to the top.

Lifeguards said the dog was stuck approximately 40 feet from the top of the cliffs. He wasn’t injured but did need assistance getting off the cliffs safely.

Lt. Stropky said the pug was rescued much like a human. A lifeguard scaled down the cliffs, secured Nacho in a harness made specifically for dogs and "brought him up just like we would anybody else."

By 2:45 p.m., Nacho was off the cliffs and in the arms of lifeguards.

"This dog was great and friendly, and was happy to see the rescuer. He was a great cooperator," said Lt. Stropky, petting the dog.

Once on safe land, Nacho -- clearly a bit parched -- happily drank water from the lieutenant's hands and was reunited with his owner, who immediately placed the pug on a leash.

Lt. Stropky said there are dog leash laws in place at the cliffs for a reason, and a leash could've prevented the incident.

"We have signs up and there is a leash law. That would've kept this from happening," he said.

Still, Lt. Stropky was happy to report that Nacho was unscathed by his adventure at the Glider Port.

“This is great. The dog is happy to be here, and it is a happy ending,” he added.

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