A St. Bernard dog died from apparent heat-related complications after hiking up Giant Mountain with its owners on a sweltering hot day last week.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation said its dispatch office received a call at about 4 p.m. on July 4 about a large “dog in distress” due to the excessive heat. Temperatures were in the 90s that day.
The dispatcher advised the dog owners to get the dog into the shade, give it water, get the dog in water if possible, and return down the mountain after temperatures cooled off, according to the DEC. The DEC doesn’t rescue pets or animals except when public health and safety are a concern.
Despite the attempts by owners and fellow hikers to save the roughly 180-pound dog, it died later that day.
Forest rangers informed the owners of the dog that it must be removed from the mountain.
The dog’s owners and other hikers moved the dog down the trail, but were unable to get it completely off the mountain that day. On July 6, rangers patrolling Giant Mountain found no sign of the dog. It’s unclear what ultimately happened to the dog carcass.
DEC declined to identify the owners of the dog. According to DEC, no regulations were violated.
Tammy L Brown says
As the current mother of a nearly 180lb Saint Bernard, this makes me both MAD AS HELL and SAD. What ta heck where these people thinking. It was over 90 Degrees with a heat index of 110 with 90% humidity..why in in the world would they think it was ok to take a dog of that size with that much heat for a hike up Giant. It wasnt even safe for humans to be out hiking in that kind of heat. And then leave him behind for the coy dogs to get to.. Omg Makes Me Want to Cry… Saint Bernards are pack animals, they protect their pack (be it humans or their own pups) with their entire life. That Saint would have protected his/her humans at all cost. And they just left him behind. I hope they live every day with the memory of what they did and they NEVER get another one again.
This is just pure stupidity to take a dog on a hike like that on such a hot day. Hard to believe “No regulations were violated”. Sounds like animal cruelty to me!
It’s very unfortunate they didn’t have the sense to know that although St. Bernard’s are indeed mountain dogs – their breeding was mainly for COLD WEATHER work! They should have taken that hike in January – not July!!
George Hall says
This is a sin , these people need to be ticketed for animal abuse !!
Susan Devlin-Varin says
This is so very sad and unfortunately not the first time I’ve heard this. Would any consideration be made to posting warnings on trail heads about this? To me it is common sense not to hike in extreme heat with a dog (do you hike in extreme heat with a winter coat on?) Many people think that having water for them is enough, not understanding they cannot cool down like we do by resting.
A person who doesn’t know that a St. Bernard is a cold weather mountain dog should even own one. That’s the problem when people try to “humanize” their pets.
Sabrina La Fave-Daletnik says
As an avid hiker (and a 46r), lifelong dog owner, and active competitor in dog agility —- I do not think Giant is an appropriate hike for an 180 pound dog in GOOD weather conditions, let alone on the hottest day of the year.
That poor poor dog.
So heartbreaking. So preventable. So abusive/negligent. So painful for that St. Bernard, being such a loving breed.
Sorry the DEC faces such circumstances of the public’s ignorance and neglect…as they do such an outstanding job with our Wildlife management needs to preserve and protect.
tom g baisley says
The DEC has time to “rescue” an endless stream of knuckle heads who don’t belong in the woods, no time to help a dog. very lame
Ed Burke says
Saw a similar event 20 years ago when a woman from Quebec took a 100lb. rottweiler up Bald Peak. We were going up as a hiker was making his way slowly down a steep rockface with the lethargic dog around his shoulders. He was a saint to help the woman out but couldn’t carry it all the way. The next day there was a sign at the trailhead with a Montreal 514 phone number to call if anyone found the dog. The word on the trail was that the woman wouldn’t let the dog drink any water in the woods because she thought it would make the dog sick.
This is odd. In one sentence: “Forest rangers informed the owners of the dog that it must be removed from the mountain.”
Then in another: “According to DEC, no regulations were violated”
Which is it? Why would DEC Forest Rangers inform the owners that the dog must be removed when there is no regulation?
It’s sad to hear of a dog dying from the stupidity of it’s
owner. Common sense rule ” to hot for humans, way to hot
for dogs”. RIP fellow.
Dana Rohleder says
Common sense is slowly being bred out of humans.