Lost Dog Finds Hope After Surviving a Dramatic Cliffside Fall (Now this Coonhound Needs a Forever Home)

The week before Christmas, the villagers in Table Rock, Nebraska were surprised when a lost hunting dog wandered into their close knit community of just 239 people. The year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound likely became separated from his owner during a weekend hunting trip in the nearby woods. Disoriented and scared after fending for himself in unfamiliar territory, the striking tricolor dog avoided human contact even as kind neighbors left out food and water for him.

Dog Rescue: Lost Coonhound Miraculously Survives 20-Ft Cliff Fall!

His sudden appearance sparked interest in the tiny rural town unused to stray visitors of any kind, let alone a hunting hound. “Facebook posts abounded reporting where he was and people put food and water out for him and continued to try to entice him to come to them,” recalls Sharla Cerra, the dog’s eventual foster mom. But still timid and frightened, he resisted their efforts. As days turned into weeks, Cliff-ton, as he was later named, became a local enigma.

Dog Rescue: Lost Coonhound Miraculously Survives 20-Ft Cliff Fall!

A Dreaded Disappearance

Then, suddenly, Clliff-ton vanished from Table Rock. The villagers feared the shy animal had become lost in the surrounding wilderness in search of his owner. The town’s concern grew until a local mechanic, hearing desperate cries near his creekside shop, discovered Cliff-ton’s plight. The dog had fallen down a steep, 20-foot embankment onto a narrow strip of land by the creek, visibly worn down from anxiously pacing the freezing shoreline.”It was a shocking sight,” Cerra recalls, “Cliff was trapped, with nowhere to go but up a vertical wall or into the icy water.”

Somehow in his confused wanderings the pup had tumbled down the sheer, brush-covered embankment looming over the water’s edge. Now trapped, the only possible escape routes led into the frigid depths or up the impossibly steep, crumbling precipice.

Dog Rescue: Lost Coonhound Miraculously Survives 20-Ft Cliff Fall!

A Daring Mountainside Rescue

The rescue operation that ensued was nothing short of heroic. Damian Vrtiska, owner of the automotive garage, called his friend John Kostecka to join the rescue effort. The two men worked carefully to lift the exhausted, trembling dog to safety. Utilizing straps, a ladder, and no small amount of ingenious maneuvering, the rescuers managed to pull the near 50-pound hound up the precarious cliffside.

“He was cold and scared,” Cerra later said, gratefully taking the traumatized pup into her care that night. As an experienced foster for the local Basset and Beagle Rescue organization, her home provided an ideal refuge for Cliff to recover from his harrowing ordeal.

Dog Rescue: Lost Coonhound Miraculously Survives 20-Ft Cliff Fall!

A New Leash on Life

Now comfortably rehoming with Cerra for over a month, Cliff continues adjusting after his brush with tragedy. “Once accustomed to his foster home, he settled into place quite happily,” describes Cerra. Cliff spends his days curled up on the sofa or playing gently with Cerra’s three one-year old rescue beagles and tiny six-pound poodle. He enjoys sitting up begging squirrels to come down from the trees and has discovered a special affinity for napping the day away in cozy chairs.

Cerra notes Cliff still startles easily and needs time to warm up to newcomers. But his inherently sweet, loyal spirit rewards those willing to be patient. “He might not be ideal for a home with very young children because he occasionally startles with sudden loud noises,” advises Cerra. “But for those willing to earn this sweet pup’s trust, the reward will be lifelong loyalty from a devoted friend.”

After winning over an entire village and surviving near tragedy in the wilderness, Cliff patiently awaits a new family to call his own – one able to provide the stable, loving environment this gentle pup has always deserved. Thanks to a holiday miracle and the compassion of two local men, now he finally has that chance.

Dog Rescue: Lost Coonhound Miraculously Survives 20-Ft Cliff Fall!

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