The New York State Park Police, the Genesee High Angle Rope Rescue, Sgt. Phil Nesbitt, Officer James Marzec, and many others are hailed heroes for saving a dog out of the Letchworth State Park Gorge.

The New York State Park Police Facebook page says the 3-year-old black lab, Achilles, fell 150 to 200 feet in the gorge at Letchworth State Park on Sunday, May 30. The dog's owner, Nicole Knickerbocker, says, "(We) walked 10 miles was 1/4 mile from the truck when it happened...Total freak accident. The cops and vet hospital says this is not an uncommon occurrence from that park." She told us:

(Achillies)  fell around 4:45ish we had him in our arms at 6:50. Took him straight to the Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Service animal hospital in Brighton to make sure he got the best care possible and have heard good things about them. He came home that night, we brought him back this morning to see the surgical team...then goes in for surgery tomorrow morning to put in a plate to stabilize his tibia  they said the fibula will heal naturally. They are expecting a full recovery and said we are looking at 2-3 months of close Veterinary care and rehab.

Knickerbocker told a friend he didn't fall the entire 180 feet. However, he did fall about 30 feet onto the shale that broke when he landed. He then continued to slide down further. His leash got snagged, and that kept him in one place.

Achilles suffered a mild lung contusion and a broken back left leg. The vet was prepared for the worst-case scenario and couldn't believe he did not have any other injuries and said it's miraculous he wasn't injured worse.

On the New York State Park Police Facebook page, Knickerbocker says she is forever grateful:

We can't thank the team enough for saving our boy. He was on a leash was a freak accident. Was our 1st time there and was on the main trail. He was released from the ER with a broken leg now home resting peacefully. Thanks to every one of you who helped we are forever grateful.

 

Knickerbocker said Achilles was treated like a person. She's planning to meet with the rescue team and police officers once Achilles is feeling better. She tells us:

This was our 1st weekend without kids in almost a year we and have been wanting to check the park since we moved here 4 years ago...thought we'd end up having a peaceful day with our dogs but it ended up turning into a nightmare 1/4 mile away from being back to our car. This has been such a traumatic experience for us every time I close my eyes just seeing/hearing it.

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