Search and rescue dog injured in nearly 40-foot fall on Oregon C - KPTV - FOX 12

Search and rescue dog injured in nearly 40-foot fall on Oregon Coast

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NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -

A volunteer search and rescue dog was injured after falling nearly 40 feet.

Opal, a 4-year-old yellow Lab, and her handler, Barbara Linder, have been volunteers with Mountain Wave Search and Rescue since 2014.

Opal is a nationally certified search and rescue dog who's used to helping others, but on Wednesday, it was she who needed saving.

While on a hike at the Oregon Coast, Opal fell nearly 40 feet and landed on sharp rocks.

"This is Siletz Bay, and as we were walking out here she ran and hit that little trail up here, and right where that small tree up there is is where she ended up jumping and then landed all the way down here," Opal's handler Barbara Linder explained. "She came limping around. She was crying, like really bad."

Linder says her husband, who had heart surgery just weeks ago, ran and picked Opal up and carried her to the car. The couple then rushed her to the nearest animal hospital.

Linder says the doctor who saw Opal was shocked her injuries hadn't been more severe. He also told her if Opal hadn't been in such good shape from her job as a rescue dog, the fall could have killed her.

"From what I understand it just kind of snapped all of those ligaments that hold those joints together," said Linder. "There's a fracture on one of her feet and multiple fractures in her paw area."

Injuries that, if left untreated, could end her search and rescue career.

"If she could never search again, I would love this dog to the day she dies but for her, she loves her job," Linder said. "She sees me put on my red mountain wave shirt and she's running in circles."

FOX 12 learned that in addition to surgery, Opal will require six to 12 months of rehabilitation.

Mountain Wave Search and Rescue has created a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the medical expenses that insurance won't cover. 

Anyone who would like to help can visit www.gofundme.com/k9-opal-search-amp-rescue-dog.

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