State Park Police rescue couple and two dogs from Letchworth Gorge

Feb 19, 2018

A  Buffalo-area couple and their two dogs were pulled to safety from Letchworth Gorge Sunday evening.

New York State Park Police officers trained in rope rescue, along with local fire departments and state police, responded to the call near the Hogsback overlook shortly before dark.

One of the victims managed to make his way to the top through a steep ravine and met rescuers as they arrived. Police said the other person and their two dogs were about half-way down the 400-foot gorge in an area described as "extremely steep and wooded for approximately 200 feet before it transitions to a sheer vertical shale wall several hundred feet to the bottom."

While officers set up rope systems, firefighters brought in portable lighting and a State Police helicopter was readied.

The second person was assisted to the top a short time later, however both dogs were a considerable distance down in the gorge. Although the bulldog was quickly brought to the top, the Mastiff required two rescuers.

"Working through difficult circumstances including vertical rises, blown down trees and icy conditions, the rescuers were able to reunite the 100-plus-pound Mastiff with his owners and bulldog companion," police said.

No significant injuries were reported to people or dogs.

It was later determined that they dogs had slipped on an icy area and broke away from their leashes, sliding into the ravine. The couple had attempted to help the dogs up, but ultimately had to call 911.