High Temps Lead to Hiking Rescues

altadena rescue

The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT) rescued two dogs and a man after hikers ran out of water in the Sam Merrill Trail in the Angeles National Forest Saturday.  Crew members received the call at 1:25pm.

Ground crews hiked approximately 2 miles up the steep trail and found the 2 hikers and an overheated 6 altadena rescue2year old female golden retriever, named “Spicey.”  The hikers, a 39 year old male, and 42 year old female, both residents of Pasadena,  were on a 12 mile hike when the dog became overheated and refused to walk.  The pair had started the hike at 5:30 Saturday morning, when the temperature was mild.

A crew from the United States Forest Service, Engine 11altadena rescue4 helped the Altadena Rescue Team because of the  remote location and extremely high temperatures.  As AMRT members carried “Spicey” in a wheeled stretcher, they found a second dog along the same trail that was suffering from heat related illness.  AMRT members carried the second dog, a 2 y/o male Dachshund mix named “Dodger,” about a mile.

altadena rescue3After 30 minutes, the high temperatures caused “Dodger’s” owner to feel sick.  The 31 y/o male who from Anaheim was given water and cooling measures.  He was then able to walk out on his own.   AMRT members provided the hiker more treatment at the beginning of the trail, and released him.  Rescue crews made several trips back to the start of the trail to get additional water, since approximately 7 other hikers had run out of water.   All dogs and people left the area at 6:00 pm.

Rescue Teams warn hikers to take their 4-legged friends out hiking only in the evening, or very early in the day for short periods of time.   These hikers all had charged cell phones and extra water, but rescuers say because a slower member of the hiking party needed several breaks to cool off, eventually the water ran out.
Rescue team members who carried in as much as 4-5 liters of water also ran dry.  Emergency crews say dogs of all breeds are not able to handle extreme temperatures like people, and that mortality rates for dogs that have overheated is 50%, which includes animals that are taken to the vet immediately after prolonged exposure to heat.