Man Pulls a Reverse Lassie, Rescues Puppy From Canyon

July 8, 2010 | By Reagan Alexander | Category: Heroes | 20 comments
Tags: adoption & rescue, heroes, charity, strange but true

Photo by Zak Anderegg

"He was completely starved." Anderegg says, "He was, by my best guess, 24 to 48 hours from being dead."

Luckily, "Puppy," as he has since been dubbed, didn't have to face those final hours. Zak Anderegg got the emaciated dog into the carrier, and somehow rigged up a system to stabilize the two during their ascent.

Once back on the surface, Puppy, who seemed to have resigned himself to his fate, was rushed to the Page Animal Hospital where he was brought back from the brink of not only starvation, but of canine distemper as well, with most of the costs being covered by the hospital's Angel Fund.

While Zak and his wife, Michelle, have fallen under the spell of their miracle pup, theirs is already a pet-rich home. Despite all that they have gone through with "Puppy," they gave him that name so that they would ultimately never become too attached to a dog they know they cannot keep. Their ultimate goal is to find "Puppy" that forever home that is infinitely removed from the darkness of that lonely canyon.

To that end, "Puppy" has his own Facebook page, and the Andereggs are accepting donations for the dog's remaining veterinary bills, while they vet potential suitors (all apologies for the horrific pun). But don't give up on the prospect of that ribbon-wrapped happy ending, as Michelle admits that the bond between herself and the dog she has since nicknamed "Shadow" grows each day.

"We're so attached," she says, laughing. "I walk, and I stop, and he bumps into me. He comes everywhere with me."

As for Zak, the one-man rescue party, he still hasn't gotten over the initial shock of finding the dog in the first place. His lingering astonishment tinged with the same attitude that repeatedly sent him back down into a canyon to save a dog that everyone else had given up on.

"I cannot believe that I found this guy down in this frickin' pothole in this canyon," he says with a chuckle.

To see Puppy’s Facebook page, visit

To find out more about the Page Animal Hospital, visit

To find out more about Page Animal Hospital’s Angel Fund, visit

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Comments (18)

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Melissa D.

Melissa D.
5 years ago

Almost in tears! This is a case of "right place, right time!"

Good Point | Reply ›


5 years ago

No matter how many times I read stories about animals being abandoned in really bad conditions, I still can't understand it. These are helpless, defenseless animals. What kind of person does this? Good for Zak. He is a hero.

Good Point | Reply ›

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