Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
Bookmark and Share

Issue 143 - November 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 6

Missy, Dog Rescued From Colorado Mountain

Issue 143 Start Menu

Previous Article            Next Article

Circulating message tells the story of Missy, a dog abandoned and left to die by her owners high on a Colorado mountain but later rescued by other hikers.

Brief Analysis
The story is true. After she injured her feet during an arduous mountain hike, and could no longer walk, Missy was eventually left by her owner in rugged terrain between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans in Colorado. Another hiking couple later found her and a rescue mission was subsequently organized to bring Missy down safely.

Bookmark and Share

Last updated: November 12, 2012
First published: November 12, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by David White, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


A man and his son left their dog, Missy, at 13,000 ft feet as they were hiking between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans in Colorado.

Missy was hiking with them when her feet became too blistered to walk. The man and his soon left Missy there alone and unable to walk. Missy survived for 8 days on the mountain when another man and his wife spotted her stranded on the mountain.

She was in very poor condition, but the couple made an attempt to carry the dog the 13,000 ft back down. Any longer and Missy would not have made it.

The man that left the dog stranded on the mountain has since received all sorts of negative publicity including death threats. Missy now remains safe under the ownership of the couple that saved her.

Please show thanks to the couple by liking and sharing this post. Bless their hearts for rescuing Missy.

Missy the Rescued Dog in Backpack

Detailed Analysis

This message, which is circulating rapidly via social media posts and the blogosphere, relates the tale of Missy, a dog abandoned high on a Colorado Mountain after she injured her paws. According to the message, Missy's owner left her on a hike between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans in Colorado after she was no longer able to walk. The story describes how another hiking couple found Missy some days later and she was eventually brought down to safety.

The claims in the story are factual, if a little vague in the details. During an August 2012 mountain hike, Missy's owner Anthony Ortolani decided to leave her behind after her paws began bleeding and he was no longer able to carry her. An October 17 CBS News report about Missy notes:

Anthony Ortolani of Westminster explained to KCNC last month that he accepted responsibility for taking his 112-pound German shepherd/Rottweiler mix, Missy, on a trip that became difficult for her. The owner said that Missy's paws began to bleed in the saddle area between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans, and that he tried to carry Missy for two hours but was unable too.

Faced with approaching bad weather and lack of water, Ortolani left Missy behind. "Carrying her down, unfortunately caused her more injury. She fought with me and squirmed off my shoulders, and I dropped her on some rocks and she got hurt worse," he said at the time.

Several days later, Missy was found, wedged in a crevice, by hikers Scott and Amanda Washburn, who provided her with food and water. The couple were unable to take the dog down themselves, but were able to alert others to Missy's plight. A rescue team was organized and, after a failed first attempt, Missy was located and brought to safety.

Anthony Ortolani later identified himself as Missy's owner and claimed that he had tried and failed to get others to help him rescue the animal and finally assumed that Missy had died. But others have questioned if Ortolani had exhausted all avenues before giving up on saving Missy. A September 19, 2012 Huffington Post write-up explains:

After coming forward, however, Ortolani said he also began receiving death threats. While he originally fought to keep custody of the dog, his chances seemed slim after Clear Creek County sheriff's officials announced they would be prosecuting him for animal cruelty, according to the Associated Press.

However, Ortolani's lawyer told 7 News that a deal had been reached this week which will allow the hiker to plead guilty to less serious violation. As part of the plea, however, Missy, re-christened Lucky, will be handed over to one of her rescuers, John Steed.

Missy's saviors are now putting together a non-profit group that will help find and rescue stranded animals.

Bookmark and Share References
'Miracle Dog' Missy Rescued From 14,000 Ft. Colorado Peak By Team Of Heroic Strangers
Man who left dog on mountain pleads guilty
Miracle Dog 'Missy' Adopted By Rescuer, Former Owner Anthony Ortolani Gets Death Threats

Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 143 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Hoax - Texas Town Adds Sugar to Water Supply
  2. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on January 15, 2013
  3. Suncorp Bank '1 Unread Message' Phishing Scam
  4. US States Petition For Secession
  5. Survey Scam - Change Facebook to Black
  6. Missy, Dog Rescued From Colorado Mountain
  7. Adam Sandler is NOT Dead
  8. Monkey Orchid
  9. Dangerous Hoax - 'A Needle Can Save The Life of a Stroke Victim'
  10. Hoax - Oliver North Warned Congress About Osama Bin Laden in 1987
  11. Facebook Rogue App/Survey Scam - Free $100 McDonald's Gift Card
  12. USPS Malware Emails
  13. Rumors Regarding FEMA and Hurricane Sandy
  14. Australia Day Name Change Hoax Targets Prime Minister Gillard
  15. Webmail Account Phishing Scam
  16. Misinformation Regarding Straight Ticket Voting On 06 November 2012 US General Election
  17. December 2012 - 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays
  18. Lil Wayne is NOT Dead
  19. More 2012 US Election Dissatisfaction: California's Prop 37