Dog found dead after fall into Punchbowl Falls

Dog found dead after fall into Punchbowl Falls

PUNCHBOWL FALLS, Ore. -- The body of a black lab that apparently fell over the edge of Punchbowl Falls in the Columbia Gorge was found Tuesday morning.

A four-person rescue team from the Oregon Humane Society was searching for the 1-year-old lab, named Max, on Tuesday morning.

Max had gone off a trail and over the edge of the falls Monday night, which rescuers say is an 80-foot drop.

The owner told searchers that Max was not found in the water at the bottom of the falls and may have been trapped on a ledge. The rescue team met the dog's owner at 7 a.m. at the Eagle Creek trailhead and embarked on a two-mile hike to where the dog was last seen.

David Lytle, a spokesman for the Oregon Humane Society, said Max had been found dead in 12 feet of water at about 9:15 a.m. Rescuers were retrieving the body and bringing it out to the trailhead.

The owners of Max described him as a "very happy, energetic dog." They expressed gratitude to searchers for the effort.

"It's pretty remarkable there are groups like this," said Max's owner Jennifer Grant. "Something we need is someone to ravine. That's not something we necessarily have training with."

Grant said Max had been let of his leash briefly to navigate down a steep part when the accident happened. She now urges other dog owners to be extra cautious when hiking with their pets.

"I would just say to anybody: keep them on the leash because you never know if there is unstable ground or a rock's gonna slip," she said. "There could be a terrible accident ... If you have them on a leash, you have a chance that you can pull them up to safety."