Hikers climb Mexico’s highest peak to rescue stranded dog, carry him down in backpack

It’s always inspiring to see someone go out of their way to help an animal in need, but one group of hikers really went the extra mile — trekking up a volcano to save a stranded dog.

The dog became stranded on the peak of Pico de Orizaba, a volcano that is the highest peak in Mexico. The dog reportedly ended up there after following a group of tourists to the summit, but the humans descended without him.

Photos of the dog went viral on social media in Mexico, and people worried for his safety. The dog was in serious danger of freezing to death.

View of the Pico de Orizaba (Shutterstock)

Then, a group of hikers decided to embark on a rescue mission to save the dog’s life — even if it meant braving the harsh, cold conditions themselves.

Layo Aguilar, a member of the expedition, recounted the story on Facebook. He joined his friend Pedro Ruiz Guerrero and members of the Mexican Alpine Club High Mountain School to climb the mountain in search of the dog.

He says that while the trek was “difficult and dangerous,” they were determined to go up and save the dog.

They reached the summit, and thankfully found the dog, who they called Canelo. While Canelo was malnourished, had a lesion on his leg and had red eyes from solar radiation, he was still alive after weeks of surviving in the harsh conditions.

The rescue team gave Canelo food and water, which the dog gratefully accepted, slurping down almost an entire thermos.

But now, another challenge awaited them: descending the peak, this time with a worn-out dog by their side.

However, they found an unusual solution to helping the dog get down the mountain: carrying him in a backpack!

Layo says that one of the hikers, with the largest backpack, offered to take Canelo down on his back. Canelo’s head stuck out of the bag.

Layo writes that the journey down the mountain was a “difficult descent due to the conditions,” but eventually the team made it down safe and sound.

Safely down from the mountain, it was time to find a new home for Canelo.

The rescuers brought the dog to Fátima del Ángel Palacios, a fellow hiker and stray dog rescuer. She will care for the dog until Canelo has regained his strength, and then begin the process of finding him a forever home.

After everything he’s been through, he definitely deserves one. It will be a very happy ending — all made possible by this kind team of rescuers who climbed the highest peak to save his life.

Thank you to these rescuers for saving Canelo! We hope he finds a forever home soon!

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