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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Hiker's dog injured by mountain goat near Mount Timpanogos

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Aug. 4 2:14 p.m. MDT

 A woman whose dog was injured by a mountain goat while hiking Mount Timpanogos on Sunday was able to coax the dog back down the mountain after search and rescue crews decided not to respond to a request for help.

A woman whose dog was injured by a mountain goat while hiking Mount Timpanogos on Sunday was able to coax the dog back down the mountain after search and rescue crews decided not to respond to a request for help.

(Steve Baker, Deseret News)

MOUNT TIMPANOGOS — A woman whose dog was injured by a mountain goat while hiking Mount Timpanogos on Sunday was able to coax the dog back down the mountain after search and rescue crews decided not to respond to a request for help.

The woman was hiking on the Aspen Grove Trail in Provo Canyon when the dog encountered a mountain goat and was reportedly injured. The woman's mother contacted the Utah County Sheriff's Office, requesting that search and rescue personnel help bring the dog down. Crews did not respond, however, due to prioritization protocol, according to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

The dog was later examined by a veterinarian and is expected to recover. Such wildlife encounters, especially with mountain goats, are rare, according to Cannon.

"The problem is we can't always dedicate resources to a situation like that," he said. "We all love animals, and nobody wants to see an animal suffer. But if we were in a situation where we had to choose between helping them or helping a person, we would obviously choose to help the person.

"The ironic thing is last night the thing we were concerned about actually did come about," Cannon said.

Search and rescue crews were called the same evening to assist two adults and three children who were stranded on a boat in the Mud Lake area of Utah Lake. The group was in an area where water was shallow but underlying mud was deep, making any attempt to walk to shore "really difficult and dangerous to do," Cannon said.

Crews used jet skis to transport the people on the boat to the main part of the lake, where they were transferred to a state parks boat and taken ashore.

The group was successfully rescued after a five-hour operation, but extricating the boat will be the owner's responsibility, according to Cannon.

"Unfortunately, in cases like this, we don't rescue equipment. We don't rescue animals," he said.

Search and rescue operations can be lengthy and complex, sometimes involving around 20 personnel members in the effort, Cannon said. Some weekends result in several rescue operations going on simultaneously in Utah County. For that reason, resources have to be allocated prudently, he said.

"We have to draw the line someplace, and not everybody likes where we draw it, but it has to be done," Cannon said.

Contributing: Mary Richards

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: MorganEJacobsen

Recommended
1. Natester
Cedar Hills, UT,
Aug. 4, 2014

Having been on that mountain several times over the years, it's a pleasure to see, up close, these beautiful mountain goats, in the wild, and to do it relatively safely. Search and Rescue absolutely made the right call. I've seen the Timp Emergency Response Team (TERT) offer first aid to countless people, so I'm grateful they are on-site and available. All of these professionals deserve a pat on the back and this incident shouldn't change that.

2. patriot
Cedar Hills, UT,
Aug. 4, 2014

Dogs and goats don't mix well. Bad situation for both.

3. Poqui
Murray, UT,
Aug. 4, 2014

I am a life-long dog owner who advocates for canine safety. It is NOT safe to take your dog hiking off-leash for this very reason. Dogs have wild instincts and will chase animals that can get them into trouble really fast. I recommend that IF you take your dog hiking you keep him on a leash at all times and be prepared for unexpected animal encounters. I personally do not take my dogs into the mountains for that very reason.

4. demantee
Saratoga Springs, UT,
Aug. 4, 2014

Is it legal to have a dog off leash on any of the Wasatch Mtn hiking trails?