Crews rescue dog and owner in South Jersey

Cindi Bycer's ten-year-old dog Peabody had fallen down the embankment overlooking a branch of the Rancocas Creek. (WPVI)

April 12, 2012 5:11:19 PM PDT
"I'm thinking my dog is dead and I have to get her," said Cindi Bycer of Mt. Holly.

That's what inspired Cindi to scramble down a 90-foot cliff behind her house to try to save her ten-year-old dog Peabody.

The dog had fallen down the embankment overlooking a branch of the Rancocas Creek and couldn't get back up.

"I got her to respond and she's just looking at me and I'm picking her up and trying to get her," said Cindi. "Every time I would get a foot I would fall back 2 because she's just so big and it's so steep."

When she couldn't do it herself, Cindi called for help and firefighters from Westampton trained in technical rescues responded. They set up a rope and harness system, put Peabody in a green litter and hauled her up the hill. But it wasn't easy.

"When we started to climb up there was about 6 inches of leaves so it was like walking on ice," said firefighter Matt Davis. "That is the best way to explain it. You'd take a step and slip. Take a step and slip and the whole time I'm trying to hold the dog up."

No easy feat since Peabody weighs in at around 130 pounds! Then firefighters assisted Cindi, who was dressed for work when all the drama began.

"Dress, stockings, no shoes and she was all worried about the dog," said firefighter Steve Getz. "That's all she wanted was the dog out."

"She was quiet, she wasn't moving," said Cindi's daughter, Bailey O'Brien. "They carried her, they got her up and she starts walking out like nothing happened."

Cindi got some scrapes and bruises climbing up and down the cliff several times. But everyone seems to agree Peabody is just fine.

"She's scrufty and a mess but i love her and it wasn't her time to go," said Cindi.

But Cindi says it IS time to get a hole in her fence covered up to keep Peabody in the yard because she definitely doesn't want to go through this again.

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