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Drone, skillful sergeant help rescue dog stranded on cliff in NY state park

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CASTILE, N.Y. — A dog missing for two days and trapped on the side of a cliff in a New York state park was reunited with its family thanks to a drone and a skillful sergeant.

Skippy went missing in the park on Monday and was discovered Wednesday by police in Letchworth State Park, about 60 miles southeast of Buffalo.

Park-goers had called police to report hearing a dog barking. When they arrived, officers couldn’t see the dog. But they could hear his yelps.

First, police sent out a drone to pinpoint the dog’s location and identify its size, so they could use the correct rescue harness to save Skippy, according to the state’s department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The gorge where Skippy was stuck was extremely steep and transitioned into a sheer drop several hundred feet to the bottom.

Through the dense forest canopy, Sgt. Ryan Clancy was lowered down. Soon after, he was pulled up with Skippy in tow.

Skippy was returned to his owner with only minor cuts and scratches, the parks department said.

“This rescue is an important reminder of the selflessness, dedication and teamwork of the men and women charged with keeping New Yorkers and those who visit our great state park system safe,” State Park Police Chief David Page said.

“Whether it’s the people who visit State Parks or their beloved family pets, these civil servants train hard and risk their lives to help others and serve New York.”