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Dog Finds Lost Hiker

Molé pulls his owner to a hole while hiking and they discover a missing hiker.

Ramon Llamas likes to hike in the early morning on Mount Rubidoux in California. His favorite hiking buddy is his year-old German Shepherd/Chow mix Molé. As Ramon and Molé walked along the rocks, the dog suddenly pulled Ramon over to an area and began crying. He noticed that the dog was standing near a hole and that something was moving inside. Ramon first thought that it might be a coyote lurking about, but it turned out he was wrong. It was a man inside the hole.

Ramon asked the man if he need any help and the man said, "I need water. Please don't leave me." Ramon handed the man some water from his backpack and in about a minute the trapped man asked if he had any more.

The man had been trapped between some rocks and could not be seen. "He said he's been there between four and six days with no food or water," Ramon explained. He quickly alerted other hikers who called the police. Firefighters with the Riverside Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team hiked to the location and were able to pull the man to safety. "In talking to him, we think he came up here at night time. So we think he was unaware of his footing, slipped in between some rocks and slid down to the location where he was," said Capt. Bruce Vanderhorst of the Riverside Fire Department.

It took rescuers about an hour to free the 44-year-old man from the rocks. It was also noted that the man was very skinny and that it looked like he had been trying to dig his way out of the hole with his hands. Although he was conscious, he was severely dehydrated. He was transported to Riverside Community Hospital and is expected to fully recover.

Authorities say that that section of the mountain is not well-traveled, so most of the hikers who use the trail probably could not see or hear anything. Thanks to Molé and his excellent hearing, the man was found just in time.

PETA has recognized the dog's bravery and will award him with the Heroic Mutt Award. "Dogs are more than our best friends - as Molé demonstrated, they're our family members, our protectors, and our heroes," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said. "PETA hopes that Mole's tenacity and care will inspire anyone looking for a dog to head to an animal shelter - they're full of lovable, wonderful mutts just like Molé."