A 46-page discussion about the rescue of a dog abandoned on Mount Bierstadt for eight days was locked temporarily after tempers flared.
The dog, named Missy, was rescued from the 13,000-foot level on Monday by a group of volunteers who organized after hearing about the German shepherd left on the mountain.
The group braved dangerous conditions and snow while rescuing the dog, packing her down the mountain. She was then taken to a veterinarian for treatment.
The owner of the dog identified himself as Anthony Ortolani, 29, and said he was forced to leave his pet on Aug. 5 when a storm moved in and he became worried for the safety of a younger hiker who was with him. He said hs dog's feet were cut up from walking on sharp rocks and she could no longer walk.
Ortolani posted on 14ers.com that he called search and rescue and was told they would not go up to rescue the dog. He admitted he didn't make further efforts to retrieve his dog after that, including posting signs at the Mount Bierstadt trailhead on Guanella Pass.
"I don't know, it seems obvious now," he wrote on page 22 of the discussion. "I owe anyone who was concerned an explanation and an apology. Everything about this experience is humbling. As far as thinking she was gone, a mix of talking to a lot of people who were trying to help me and just stress and sadness from the whole situation. Still irresponsible, and unjustifiable. I am sorry."
When posters learned the dog had been left on the mountain for nine days, many argued Ortolani shouldn't be given back his dog.
"All I can say is, you left Missy on that mountain, and now she deserves to live with someone who cared enough to rescue her. (Seven) days she laid there bleeding, hurt, alone, tired, hungry and thirsty. Her old life ended when the people she counted on the most left her, and her new life begins with one of the rescuers, or anyone who won't abandon her, for that matter," one poster wrote.
Another wrote, "I feel that the owner should spend 8 days and nights on the Sawtooth himself without water, food, shelter. Then I would advocate that he has earned a slight chance to get her back. Sorry but the owner left her for dead. I would not have, even in pain I would have found friends, searched for help, posted signs, something."
The discussion grew so heated that it was locked by the site administrator to prevent further comments on Wednesday "until things simmer down."
The plight of the abandoned dog was first brought to the climbing community on Aug. 11 when a poster on 14ers.com said they had come across the dog and gave it food and water. The poster said the dog was unable to walk and too heavy to carry down.
The dog apparently survived by being fed by other climbers who came across her.
"I need to know the name of the vet clinic that Missy is at so I can go see her and re-reimburse them for helping her, and if I am fortunate enough, to bring her home," Ortalani posted.
A member of the rescue team posted, "It is our sincere hope that this effort will be remembered, not for our accomplishments, but as a reminder of the good that we are all capable of and of the amazing the things that can happen when even just a few people are willing to stand up and do the right thing."
Missy's fate will be decided by Clear Creek County Animal Control.
Discussion On 14ers.com: http://bit.ly/RScXYI Link
Copyright Report a typo or inaccuracyIf you have a news tip or a follow-up to this story, e-mail us.Copyright 2012 by TheDenverChannel.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.