By Jeff Todd
PARK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – While exploring abandoned mines, a Fairplay man rescued a dog that had been trapped for 10 days.
Preston Gladd has been exploring abandoned mines he heard about from a friend in the Pike National Forest northwest of Fairplay. But one mine wasn’t very welcoming.
“I just heard growling and animal sounds so I thought it was something living in the mine,” Gladd said.
He could not stop thinking about the noise and exploring the mine so he returned a week later.
“ I’ve been wanting to go in and explore the cave and I like animals a lot so I couldn’t stop thinking about the animal. So I crawled down into the mine and looked down the shaft and saw there was somebody’s dog with a collar stuck down at the bottom running around.”
“I get a phone call. He’s like, ‘Gannon, that mine I was exploring the other day, there’s a dog down here. Get the gear. We’ve got to save it,” said Gannon Ingels, Gladd’s friend. “I was stoked. I was like what puppy to save? For sure, way better than the nap I was going to take.”
Gladd, Ingels, and Gladd’s Girlfriend Portia Scovern returned to the cave with climbing equipment, and headlamps.
“There’s a tunnel that goes farther back about 60 feet and then it goes down about 25 feet,” Gladd said.
The rescue took just a few minutes, with Scovern recording almost all of it.
The trio took the dog to the vet, and despite going more than a week without food or water, and returned with a clean bill of health.
Wednesday night they started posting to Facebook to find the owner.
“And then the next morning we did! Facebook found her owner,” Gladd said.
The post was shared more than 750 times, and many people linked the found dog to a missing dog named Cheyenne.
“I would never guess it would blow up and people would spread it around everywhere,” Ingels said. “ It was really, really cool to see it all come together.”
Cheyenne is doing well by all accounts and there’s likely a reunion with the dog and the trio that saved her this weekend.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.