'Hero' park ranger carries dehydrated dog to safety

Kris Salapek's heroics likely saved the dog's life. (Photo: Lexie Daniel via GNN)

As temperatures soared in the mountainous hills of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, a struggling, dehydrated pooch needed a hero.

Luckily, one was ready to go.

Lexie Daniel and a group of hikers encountered a man last week whose dog appeared to be severely overheated and dehydrated. After donating all of their water to the K9 in need, however, Daniel says the group was still afraid that it wouldn’t be enough to keep the pup alive after seeing the dire shape he was in.

“The owner brought along a huge jug, but no amount of water seemed to be helping,” she told the Good News Network.

Daniel added that the owner, much too fatigued to carry the dog off the treacherous mountain trail by himself, “called the park rangers ASAP,” and reported their location before supervisory park ranger Kris Salapek found them on the mountainside trail shortly after.

Salapek, Daniel says, then lifted the large dog onto his back and started carrying him down to safety.

“It was a LONG distance — a couple miles down an incredibly rocky path.”

When they finally reached a stream, the park ranger then “laid him in the water as he knelt beside him and poured water on him,” Daniel said.

“The ranger then picked him back up over his shoulders and walked all the way back down to the street. He must’ve been on his shoulders for about an hour, it was a long way down.”

(Photo: Tori Matyola via GNN)

Daniel’s cousin, Tori Matyola, recounted her side of the events, adding that “the owner hiked down ahead of the ranger so that once he got down the mountain he had the car ready to take him straight to the vet.”

“The dog was looking a little better by the time he got to the car and picking up his head.”

Daniel, a paediatric nurse, posted the good deed she had just witnessed on Facebook and it went viral — garnering over 50,000 likes and 35,000 shares at the time of this writing.

“This ranger SAVED this dogs life. This is a HERO. This dog probably wouldn’t have made it without him. We are so lucky to have rangers like this that put even animals before themselves. This ranger deserves insane recognition and a standing ovation for his bravery, selflessness, and strength,” she wrote.

Daniel later updated the post after getting in touch with the heroic ranger. Salapek says he had been in contact with the owner of the dog, who is apparently doing fine and making a full recovery.

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