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Dog Survives 40-Foot Fall From Cliff In Dover

BOSTON (CBS) – A dog was critically injured but survived a 40-foot fall off a cliff in Dover on Sunday.

The dog, a 5-year-old named "Sammy," suffered serious internal injuries and is now recovering after undergoing surgery on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Paul Finnegan took his dog, Fiona, and his sister-in-law Moira Bowser's dog, Sammy, for a hike in the Noanet Woods in Dover.

At one point on the hike, Sammy suddenly disappeared. Finnegan said he then heard the dog's cries from the bottom of a nearby 40-foot cliff.


Finnegan tied his own dog to a nearby tree and climbed down the cliff to get to Sammy and called Dover police.

"It was nice. I'm a dog owner myself so if I was in their position I'd want someone to help my dog as best they could," said Officer Jon Cash.

Officer Cash was joined by another Dover officer and they hoisted Sammy to safety.  They tied a tow rope to his harness, but had to pull him up with their own strength.

Because Sammy was trapped in a secluded area - using a car to help hoist him up was out of the question.

"They tried to walk out but eventually we gave the person (Finnegan) and the dog a ride out," said Cash.

Sammy was taken to Angell Animal Medical Center soon after.

"Sammy's injuries were severe, he suffered a massive pneumothorax, which means the trauma caused a rupture in his lung, which made it very hard for him to breathe. Sammy's injuries are of the type we normally see when dogs are struck by fast-moving cars. They are very serious and could easily have killed him," Dr. Megan Davis said.

The impact of the injury also forced parts of Sammy's intestines into his chest cavity. The internal injuries were so bad, Dr. Davis said, that Sammy required surgery.

"He'll need a couple of days to recover here at the hospital and then he can return home to his family," said Dr. Russell Kalis, the dog's surgeon.

Sammy is expected to return home Friday. Doctors expect the dog to make a full recovery.

WBZ-TV's Bree Sison contributed to this report.


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