Man performs risky rescue to save dogs stuck on Point Defiance cliff

TACOMA, Wash. — There was a risky rescue in the South Sound after two dogs got stuck on a cliff and a good Samaritan stepped in to help.

Tacoma Fire had to rescue the trio Monday at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma near Dalco Passage.

Video from Chopper 7 shows Skyler Higgins hanging onto a steep, practically vertical hillside with two dogs. He’s holding on to one of them, making sure the dog doesn’t fall.

“I just love dogs. I can’t stand them to be that scared and I had to help out somehow,” Higgins said.

Higgins was enjoying the day at Owen Beach.

“Walking back, I spotted a couple of dogs up on the cliff in a bad spot. The owner was trying to get to them but he couldn’t,” Higgins recounted.

Without hesitation, Higgins jumped in to help.

“I ran down the beach, saw a little spot where I could get up. Got up. Scurried across and tried to get them out but couldn’t. They were scared so I stayed to keep them calm and to keep them from falling,” Higgins explained.

They were stuck for two and a half hours.

He said he felt like he might slip a couple of times.

“There were “a couple quick moments but nothing really too major,” he said. “I was more worried about the dogs.”

Tacoma Fire crews couldn’t get to them by the beach so they had to call in the technical rescue team. Video from Chopper 7 shows a firefighter rappelling down to them.

“I told him to take the dogs first. I can go down myself but he said I ain’t doing nothing ‘til I get you harnessed. So he threw a harness on me,” Higgins said.

KIRO 7 asked if he would do this again.

“In a heartbeat,” he answered. “If you got a dog, man, hold on to them. Treasure them for what they are.”

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

KIRO 7 reached out to the owner of the dogs who did not want to talk on camera. He said it was a bit of a traumatic experience and he’s just trying to move forward.

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