South Sound News

13-year-old black lab rescued after falling down steep ravine in Lakewood

It was a tough job for crews from West Pierce Fire and Rescue after Pepsi, a 120 pound black Labrador, tumbled down a ravine all the way to Chambers Creek hundreds of feet below. The aging dog spent most of the night trapped and couldn't go up or down.

Pepsi's owner and his twelve year old daughter managed to find him but they couldn't get him to safety either. After several hours the family called fire crews for help. They determined the only way to make the rescue was to get what's called a Stokes litter and haul the dog back up the steep hillside.

“The embankments over here are very steep,” said West Pierce Captain Steve Vukich. “There’s a lot of deadfalls, a lot of downed brush, so anytime that rescues go on rope it’s very dangerous.”

It took several hours, but finally rescuers emerged from the thick cover of trees and bushes with Pepsi strapped to the litter. He seemed more curious than scared and was not hurt as he was carried to his home. His family told KIRO 7 they were grateful the fire crews worked so hard to rescue a beloved family pet.

"We’re here to serve and protect the community, and sometimes that’s an animal and that’s great,” said West Pierce spokeswoman Jenni Weeks.

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