Everyday Heroes

Wow! You Won't Believe What This Park Ranger Did To Save A Dog's Life

When the dog collapsed on a hiking trail, this guy did what he had to do to get the animal to safety.

Now that the "dog days" of summer are upon us, we have to take extra special care of, well, our dogs, when we're outside in the heat.

One pet owner learned this the hard way when he took his pup on a grueling hike in a state park in Delaware last week. It was a 90 degree day, and after hiking for a few hours, the dog became severely overheated and collapsed on the trail.

The owner tried to carry the dog himself and couldn't go any further. So he immediately contacted the park ranger, and another group of hikers stopped to see if they could help.

Delaware Water Gap seen from the Appalachian Trail upload.wikimedia.org

Lexie Daniel, who's a pediatric nurse from New Jersey, was one of the hikers who gave the dog some of her water when she came across the dog and his owner on the trail. Even with the extra water, the dog's condition didn't seem to improve.

"The owner brought along a huge jug, but no amount of water seemed to be helping," Lexie later told the Good News Network.

Soon after the dog's owner made the call for help, Supervisory Park Ranger Kris Salapek found them on the trail. Wasting no time, Salapek picked up the dog and carried the animal on his shoulders – no small feat considering the dog was a larger breed and weighed close to 90 pounds.

Park Ranger Kris Salapek didn't hesitate to pick up the dog and carry him to safety. Lexie Daniel/Facebook

Lexie and her group followed as Salapek carried the dog for over two miles down a steep, rocky mountain trail. When the group reached a stream near the end of the trail the ranger gently laid the dog in the water and knelt beside him as he helped the dog cool off.

Then, Salapek picked the animal back up and carried him the rest of the way down to the road, where the pet's owner was waiting with his car to rush him to the nearest animal hospital.

When they got to a stream, Salapek set the dog down in the water to cool him down.Lexie Daniel/Facebook

"He must've been on his shoulders for about an hour, it was a long way down!" Lexie said.

When Lexie got home that evening she shared the incredible story on Facebook and included some photos she took.

"This is a HERO," Lexie wrote. "We are so lucky to have rangers like this (who) put even animals before themselves. This ranger deserves insane recognition and a standing ovation for his bravery, selflessness, and strength."

Thanks to Salapek, the dog made it down the mountain and was rushed to the animal hospital by his owner. Lexie Daniel/Facebook

The post quickly went viral and has been shared over 36,000 times.

"What an incredible human being!" one person wrote.

"What an incredible act of kindness! Our Park Rangers are wonderful," another person commented.

Lexie updated her post to let everyone know that she had been in touch with Salapek, who said he got word from the dog's owner that the pet was okay and was recovering at home.

Lexie posted an update that the dog was resting and recovering at home. Lexie Daniel/Facebook

"Thanks to this ranger and other officers like him, we can feel a little safer for our loved ones (even our pups)," she wrote.

We love stories of folks going above and beyond to help animals. Ranger Salapek is definitely a hero in our book!

How can you start something good?

While this story had a happy ending, the dangers of exposing your pets to heat for an extended amount of time are real.

That's why it's important to bring plenty of water if you're planning on going for long walks, and to pay attention to signs that they're getting overheated. Also, be sure not to leave your pets unattended in cars on hot days.

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