Do you remember the Yahoo!/ABC news story back in August about a hiker, Anthony Ortolani, who had to leave his Rottweiller/Shepard mix, Missy, on a mountain while on a hike?  Ortolani, 29, said that Missy's paws were raw and bleeding from jagged rocks, and that he (and his 19-year-old hiking partner), after trying for 2 hours, could not safely carry Missy (over 110 lbs) back down the mountain, so they left her there.

When Ortolani got to the base of the mountain, he told the Sheriff's Department about the dog, but they wouldn't send up a rescue crew for a pet.

From what I have read, Ortolani did not seek additional help after that day.

6 days later, a couple were hiking in that area and they spotted the dog,

too weak, injured and heavy to be carried down so they couple used a first aid kit to patch up as many wounds as possible before going back down the mountain for help.

The couple then pleaded, through social networking and within the hiking community, for help.

After being stranded for 8 days, a team of 8 volunteers were able to successfully retrieve Missy from the mountainside.

Originally, Ortolani had wanted Missy back.  It seems that, after a public outcry about the situation (and death threats), he has decided to relinquish custody of Missy to one of the rescuers.

According to KMGH, after an investigation, Ortolani was charged with animal cruelty.  Giving up custody was part of a plea bargain.

I can't imagine leaving Tucker behind on ANY trip that I take.  I know that "until you are in that situation, you don't know how you would react" comes into play here, but just the thought of leaving Tucker behind makes me feel guilty.  Call me an animal lover, but I don't think I could leave her on a mountain to fend for herself.


(Via KMGH, Yahoo)