Anthony Ortolani, 29, was climbing with a friend on Mount Bierstadt with his 5-year-old German Shepherd / Rottweiler mix back on August 5th when a storm rolled in. On the climb Ortolani’s dog Missy had cut up her paws on sharp rocks and was unable to continue to walk. Ortolani said that he and his 19-year-old friend tried to carry the 112-pound dog for more than two hours on the treacherous terrain before making the difficult decision to abandon the dog in order to save themselves.
August 11, Scott and Amanda Washburn were hiking in the area and spotted missy tucked into a crack in some rocks half dead. The couple treaded the 112-pound dog with what first aid they had before heading down the mountain to find help.
That night the Washburn’s started a Facebook page to spread the word of the injured dog abandoned on the mountain. A few days later they had managed to wrangle a group of volunteers to head back up the mountain to retrieve Missy. In just over nine hours the group was able to bring Missy off the mountain in an oversized backpack.
After the rescue mission Ortolani said that he wanted custody of his German Shephard / Rottweiler mix. But after receiving intense criticism and even death threats over his decision to leave his dog on the mountain he has changed his mind. Ortolani has since been charged with animal cruelty by the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.