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Dog rescued from cliff after three days

<i>KPTV</i><br/>Flora is a 9-year-old chihuahua
Flora is a 9-year-old chihuahua

By Paulina Aguilar

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    GRESHAM, Oregon (KPTV) — A family is expressing their gratitude to the city of Estacada after rescuers saved their dog after it fell off the side of a cliff.

Flora is a 9-year-old chihuahua, who fell about 40 feet before being stuck near the 211-bridge. On Friday, Diane and Robert were on a road trip to Southern Oregon; during their drive, they had to pull over in Estacada to fix their RV. That’s when Flora snuck out.

“Got out, open the side door, fixed what needed to be fixed, shut the door then walked around a vehicle to drive away,” says dog owner, Robert.

They hit the road again but after just a couple of miles in, Diane noticed Flora was gone and they decided to turn back around. Witnesses in the area tell Robert they saw Flora running around and tried to catch her.

“By the time we got there she had been running all around almost run over two or three times,” says Robert. “People were scurrying around and they saw her running around by the edges of this brush and wooded area and then just disappear.”

Flora had fallen 40 feet and landed on an outcropping where she was stuck for three days. Diane says she called out for her after looking for hours and putting up flyers around town. On Monday evening, two Portland Public School teachers were paddle boarding when they heard a yelp.

“As we were nearing the bridge on Estacada Lake, I heard a yelping from a dog. Originally, I didn’t think too much of it,” says Erika Alabarca. “As I was paddling along Julia looked up and saw the dog peek out its head.”

They called the non-emergency line of Estacada Fire, but they were losing sunlight, so they left a marker near Flora for them to find.

“We left a little marker — a carabiner with a Cheeto bag on it — just in case they did come they would have an idea of where we spot at the dog,” says Alabarca.

Robert, a former firefighter, says they used a high-angle rope rescue operation to get Flora out. That operation takes a lot of coordination, safety, backup plans and can be dangerous. But it worked.

“As bad of a situation it was, I felt hopeless at times but everyone was so concerning, gracious, and helpful that I could hardly lose hope you know it was just it was incredible,” says Diane.

Diane and Robert say they are grateful to the community and Estacada Fire who helped bring Flora home.

“To take time out of your day to care about that. And when the fire crews arrived, there’s a call to be made, there’s decisions to be made, there’s risk versus benefit,” says Robert.

“We’re animal lovers too, so I think doing something, there wasn’t an option to do nothing,” says Julia Fogg, Paddleboarder. “It just felt like such a community effort.”

Diane says Flora is hydrated and is slowly eating food again and she’s in good health physically.

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