The Incredible Story of the Dog Rescued From The Bottom of an Arizona Canyon

Written by: Griffin Shaffer

June 25, 2014

This is the story of a puppy named Riley and the man who saved his life.

The amazing rescue occurred on June 20, 2010, when Zak Anderegg was hiking alone through the canyons in the Arizona desert.

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Anderegg was approximately 350 feet down in the canyon when he came across this scared and visibly weak puppy, who he named Riley.

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He immediately climbed back to the top to get Riley some food and water, then descended to the bottom again to aid the ailing pup.

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Without a safe way to transport Riley to the top of the canyon, Anderegg had to leave again to get a crate and more rope so he could make a direct descent to him.

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Just to put it into perspective, here is Riley at the bottom of the canyon, lying on the blanket Anderegg left for him.

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Anderegg was able to get the exhausted puppy into a crate and back to the top of the canyon.

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Anderegg rushed Riley to the vet hospital for treatment.  The photo below shows the terrible condition he was in at the time of his rescue.  The doctors and technicians at the Page Animal Hospital worked tirelessly to save Riley’s life.  Anderegg credits them for bringing Riley back from the verge of death.

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On Wednesday, June 23rd, Anderegg drove Riley from Page, AZ back to Salt Lake City, UT.  Riley was ready for his forever home.

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Riley immediately got settled in to his new surroundings…and lots and lots of new toys!

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And helping in Riley’s recovery, his now new big brother!

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After the story of Riley’s rescue got out, Anderegg and Riley were on the Today Show, Inside Edition, and even the Ellen Show!

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Riley received the full star treatment and received a lifetime supply of food, courtesy of Ellen herself!

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Riley is now loving life with Anderegg and his new brother!  He is incredibly happy and healthy, as is Anderegg, who’s life was also changed by the experience!  Anderegg wrote an amazing book titled “Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A Man and His Dog’s Struggle to Find Salvation.”


Check out the entire video of Riley’s rescue and recovery here.

High paws to Zachary and Riley!

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Written by: Griffin Shaffer

June 25, 2014

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