Daring dog rescue plays out in cliffs of Oswit Canyon

Quick thinking and quick action led to a happy ending Wednesday after a neighborhood dog escaped her yard and wandered into the hills above South Palm Springs.
A rescuer is lowered to the ground while holding Tallulah, a dog that escaped her yard and wandered into Oswit Canyon, where she began to chase Bighorn Sheep who reside in the canyon’s cliffs.

We usually take Thursday to tell you about animals available for adoption in the community. Today we’re happy to tell you about an animal rescue of a completely different sort.

What we know: On Tuesday, a dog named Tallulah managed to escape from her yard and make her way to Oswit Canyon in South Palm Springs, where she wandered into the hills and became stuck on the cliffs. Reports began coming into Oswit Land Trust, which manages the land, and a conservation ranger was dispatched to check the scene first thing Wednesday morning.

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At first, OLT Executive Director Jane Garrison explained, there was no sign of the dog, but the ranger did notice sheep on the cliff grunting, which is “something they do when they feel threatened.”

  • The ranger thought there might have been a mountain lion nearby. But after a closer look through binoculars, he spotted Tallulah, who had been chasing the sheep near South Lykken Trail.

Driving the news: “After the Oswit Land Trust team assessed the situation, we quickly realized there was no way we could safely get to the dog or get the dog down,” Garrison explained. “Thanks to the swift help from the Palm Springs chief of police, the Palm Springs Search and Rescue team came out to assist.”

  • Just after 11 a.m., a rescue team member rappelled down a cliff where Tallulah was resting. There were fears she might flee or possibly jump from the cliff. However, as the rescuer got closer, “the first thing she did was wag her tail.

Tallulah was quickly scooped up, held tight by her rescuer, and the pair were lowered to safety.

At last report, Tallulah returned was resting comfortably after being reunited with her family at The Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

  • “We are immensely grateful to the Palm Springs Police Department Search and Rescue Team for coming out so quickly and getting Tallulah to safety,” Garrison said. “How lucky we are to live in a community where so many people care!”

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