The problem is we can't always dedicate resources to a situation like that. We all love animals, and nobody wants to see an animal suffer. But if we were in a situation where we had to choose between helping them or helping a person, we would obviously choose to help the person. —Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon
MOUNT TIMPANOGOS — A woman whose dog was injured by a mountain goat while hiking Mount Timpanogos on Sunday was able to coax the dog back down the mountain after search and rescue crews decided not to respond to a request for help.
The woman was hiking on the Aspen Grove Trail in Provo Canyon when the dog encountered a mountain goat and was reportedly injured. The woman's mother contacted the Utah County Sheriff's Office, requesting that search and rescue personnel help bring the dog down. Crews did not respond, however, due to prioritization protocol, according to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
The dog was later examined by a veterinarian and is expected to recover. Such wildlife encounters, especially with mountain goats, are rare, according to Cannon.
"The problem is we can't always dedicate resources to a situation like that," he said. "We all love animals, and nobody wants to see an animal suffer. But if we were in a situation where we had to choose between helping them or helping a person, we would obviously choose to help the person.
"The ironic thing is last night the thing we were concerned about actually did come about," Cannon said.
Search and rescue crews were called the same evening to assist two adults and three children who were stranded on a boat in the Mud Lake area of Utah Lake. The group was in an area where water was shallow but underlying mud was deep, making any attempt to walk to shore "really difficult and dangerous to do," Cannon said.
Crews used jet skis to transport the people on the boat to the main part of the lake, where they were transferred to a state parks boat and taken ashore.
The group was successfully rescued after a five-hour operation, but extricating the boat will be the owner's responsibility, according to Cannon.
"Unfortunately, in cases like this, we don't rescue equipment. We don't rescue animals," he said.
Search and rescue operations can be lengthy and complex, sometimes involving around 20 personnel members in the effort, Cannon said. Some weekends result in several rescue operations going on simultaneously in Utah County. For that reason, resources have to be allocated prudently, he said.
"We have to draw the line someplace, and not everybody likes where we draw it, but it has to be done," Cannon said.
Contributing: Mary Richards
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