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Dog survives 60-foot fall off cliff, cold night alone at Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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A dog was found alive last week after plunging off a cliff and spending the night alone in freezing temperatures at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, officials said.

Dancer, a 3-year-old dog described as a “professional troublemaker,” had escaped her leash on Wednesday evening and fell off a cliff near Miners Castle onto a ledge 60 feet below, the National Park Service (NPS) said.

Dancer’s owners searched for hours in the dark but could not find their beloved pet, believing she had died in the fall, the agency said.

Park rangers and Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals, a local rope rescue team, continued to search for Dancer along a “treacherous section” of the Lake Superior shoreline, according to NPS.

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Rescuers found Dancer cold but alive after the dog fell 60 feet off a cliff near Miners Castle at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan on Wednesday evening. (National Park Service)

SHARP team members Erik Olsen, Westley Shaffer, and Tyler Davis searched the area where Dancer fell on Thursday morning and found the dog alive. Dancer was cold but did not have any reported injuries, parks officials said.

“Though she had spent the night trying to keep warm, she was excited to see rescuers,” NPS said.

Dancer getting warm in vehicle

Dancer, a 3-year-old dog described as a “professional troublemaker,” was reunited with her family and is recovering, officials said. (National Park Service)

Dancer was reunited with her Minnesota-based family and was recovering from the ordeal.

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Park rangers warned visitors to remain cautious and to always be prepared for conditions at the lakeshore this winter.

“With this year’s mild start to winter, many areas of Pictured Rocks are more accessible than they are most years” Chief Ranger Joe Hughes said. “It is still important to remember to be prepared for slippery, cold conditions that can change quickly.” 

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The lakeshore is located near Munising, Michigan, on the Upper Peninsula along Lake Superior. 

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