St Bernard dog rescued after collapsing on Scafell Pike

A mountain rescue team has said its members “didn’t need to think twice” when they were called to help a 121lb (55kg) St Bernard dog that had collapsed while descending England’s highest peak. Sixteen volunteers from Wasdale mountain rescue team spent nearly five hours rescuing Daisy from Scafell Pike after receiving a call from Cumbria police.

The team said the dog was displaying signs of pain in her rear legs and was refusing to move as she came down from the summit of the mountain with her owners on Friday evening.

A spokesman said: “Having team members with their own pampered pooches at home, and also our very own much-adored search dog, Jess, we recognise the distress that both an animal can feel and also that of their owners.
Mountain rescue team with dog on stretcher

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St Bernard dogs were originally bred to help with rescues in the Alps. Photograph: Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team/PA
“Therefore ... when Cumbria police contacted us about a St Bernard dog, who had collapsed whilst descending from the summit of Scafell Pike and therefore [was] unable to carry on, our members didn’t need to think twice about mobilising and deploying to help retrieve Daisy off England’s highest.”

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The team said Daisy was the “perfect casualty” and was recovering from her ordeal. They sought advice from vets before beginning the rescue operation and were able to assess Daisy’s condition and administer pain relief before lifting her off the mountain on a stretcher.

The team said: “After a little persuasion and a bit of arranging the stretcher to become dog-friendly, and of course plenty more treats, the 55kg Daisy very quickly settled down with her chin resting on the head guard, having realised that we were trying to help her.

“From there on, apart from the odd little adjustment, the evacuation was found to be not that much different to a normal adult evacuation which, of course, is the bread and butter of our team, which we have done hundreds of times before.”

St Bernard dogs were originally bred to help with rescues in the Alps in Italy and Switzerland. The spokesman said: “She apparently feels a bit guilty and slightly embarrassed about letting down the image of her cousins bouncing across the Alpine snows with barrels of brandy around their necks.”

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The team thanked West Lakeland veterinary group and Galemire veterinary hospital for their advice and support during the rescue.