Abandoned without food and water at the bottom of a canyon, Riley the dog was destined to die a slow and sad death. But then, help came to him in the form of a former U.S. Marine, who saved this dog in every way possible.
It was in 2010 that Sergeant Zachary Anderegg accidentally came across an 8-month-old puppy during a hiking trip in Arizona. The dog was helpless and alone at the bottom of a 350-foot canyon and had been starving for many days. As a result of malnourishment, it was very frail and had lost all its weight. Even its teeth had blackened.
“The more I think about it, someone put this dog there … Which is why I am so mad about this,” said Anderegg in a YouTube post.
Deciding to help the poor dog, Anderegg put down a few meals for it and went to get some equipment. The next day, he came back with a cage. Anderegg brought the puppy out of the canyon.
It was then taken to the Page Animal Hospital where it received medical care. And despite the puppy being in a terrible condition, the medical staff did all they could to nurse it back to a healthy state.
But the best part was yet to come … Anderegg decided to adopt the puppy, named it Riley, and took it home.
“He has become a cherished member of our family … He is without doubt one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known,” said Anderegg on Riley’s Facebook Fan page.
Anderegg has written a book about his experience of rescuing Riley, called “Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A man and his dog’s struggle to find salvation.”
Riley’s story was covered by the media. They appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Today Show.
A 14-minute documentary, featuring the video clips taken at the time of the rescue, was also uploaded to YouTube. The video went viral, attracted more than 5 million views, and made Riley’s story popular with dog lovers.
After the rescue, Riley went to visit the canyons once more. And with his new owner, Anderegg, by his side, Riley explored the region fearlessly, for he knew that he would never be abandoned again…