Zachary Anderegg is an avid adventurer who likes to spend his time exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah and Arizona with his family. He was on one such adventurous hike exploring a canyon in the middle of nowhere when he came across something that would change his life forever. It started out as a fairly simple hike into a canyon, like he had done many times before but this hike would prove to be different. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom for the full story.
It started out as a simple hike into the canyons like he had done many times before.
The light started to dwindle as he got deeper and deeper into the slot canyons.
At this point he is at least 150 feet into the earth about to rappel deeper.
He noticed a dog down in a pit some 350 feet in the earth. The dog surely would have been killed if he had fell into the hole which leads Zachary to believe that someone placed the dog there. Before Zachary took this picture he rushed back to his camp for dog food and water. What an amazing dog rescue.
The dog barely had enough energy to stand and would have died within hours had Zachary not found him in the middle of nowhere.
He was irate about the situation. Who would do this to an innocent animal?
Zachary left the dog with a blanket water and food to retrieve some rescue gear and came back the following morning to save this poor little guy.
This is the crate wrapped in safety ropes with the dog inside ready to be lifted 350′ to the surface!
Zachary named the dog Riley and brought him straight to the vet. Riley spent 24 hours at the hospital and was in terrible condition. He was so weak he couldn’t even wag his tail.
This photo shows just how bad Riley’s condition was. He was literally on death’s doorstep before Zachary found him.
Riley was able to leave the vet and here he is on his way home to Utah with his new family. He started to wag his tail letting them know, “I’m going to be alright”.
Before Riley’s first sponge bath, he still had no energy but there was hope.
Riley soon started to gain energy and make new friends.
After about a week he was able to stand and walk on his own. It was time to introduce him to his older brother, Kohi.
They were instant friends.
Riley’s story started to become famous, and he and his new dad were invited to the Ellen Show to make an appearance and tell their story.
Here Riley gets ready for his big TV debut.
After Riley was settled in his new home and life, it was time to make new GOOD memories of the desert.
Riley, Kohi, Mom and Dad.
Riley and Kohi have become best friends.
Riley loves his new life and has put his past behind him.
Zachary says Riley saved him as much as he saved Riley.
Riley has made a full recovery, both physically and emotionally, and is now a happy dog with a happy life.
Zachary takes Riley and his brother Kohi everywhere with him.
Take a look below for the full video.
I can’t believe someone would abandon their dog in the middle of the desert to die. What kind of person would you be to do that to an innocent animal? Thankfully there are people like Zachary with big hearts who happen to be in the right place at the right time. Not much longer and little Riley would have succumb to starvation and dehydration. This story had my jaw on the floor and I’m so happy to see that Riley has a great life ahead of him full of fun adventures with his new family. What a lucky pup. Good job Zachary and Riley!