Strangers rally for dog who survived fall off 150-foot cliff in Oregon

Dylan Stableford
Kenny (Courtesy Mark Winans)

A dog who miraculously survived falling from a 150-foot cliff in Oregon is home recovering after emergency surgeries that were paid for, in part, by some two-legged strangers.

Late last week, Mark Winans' roommate was on an afternoon hike with Kenny, Winans' 2-year-old Husky-shepherd mix, in the Columbia River Gorge when the dog broke free from his leash chasing a squirrel and fell from the cliff, landing in a shallow creek. The roommate, who was not named, scrambled down the trail to find a cell signal to call police.

Volunteers from the Oregon Humane Society were called in and had to hike two hours up the 3.3-mile trail to reach the injured pup. Jennifer Stangel, one of the 10 responding rescuers from OHS, made a daring midnight rescue, rappelling down the cliff to lift Kenny to safety.

Kenny was taken to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, where he had reconstructive surgery for fractured legs and possible trauma to his internal organs. Winans launched an online campaign to help cover the mounting cost of the surgeries, which are estimated to total more than $10,000. Through Monday, the "Save Kenny" campaign had raised more than $9,000 from 129 donors.

Winans says any money raised above $10,000 will go to the volunteer rescue team that pulled the pooch out of the gorge.

Kenny walks out of the hospital following surgery, Oct. 19, 2014. (Courtesy Mark Winans)

"Look who decided to walk out of the hospital today!" Winans wrote on the campaign's Give Forward page. "Kenny is finally back at home resting comfortably and soaking up some serious doses of TLC (and pain medication). The surgical reconstruction of his legs turned out really well (several bone grafts, 2 metal plates, and 1 joint fusion) and his surgeon is optimistic he’ll be out of his casts and walking in about 2 months. We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us, but based on his very recent track record I think it’s pretty clear Kenny is not afraid of a challenge.

"Not out of the woods yet, but all signs are pointing up," he continued. "I am absolutely blown away by such an amazing outpouring of good will and generosity, can't thank you enough for your support through this crazy ordeal."

Winans added: "Our hope is to raise enough money to give back to the volunteers on the Oregon Humane Society’s Technical Animal Rescue team that regularly risk their lives to save animals just like Kenny."

Earlier this month, OHS rescuers were called in to save a dog who fell from a 200-foot cliff in the same area.

"Two rescues like this in two weeks is very concerning," the group said in a news release. "We strongly urge dog owners to keep their pets on leash at all times in areas such as the Columbia Gorge. Your dog's leash can save your pet's life."

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