and their dog Copper was driving down an old
forest road when an animal, possibly an elk
stepped out in front of the car.
Andrea did what her father always
told her not to do, she swerved.
She instantly knew her mistake and
“hang on, we’re going over”.
they didn’t realize until daylight was
that “over” meant a 150 foot cliff.
After what seemed like eternity the
jeep finally came to a rest upside down.
Andrea was unconscious and covered in
blood, the windows were blown out and Copper
woke Andrea and got her out of the seatbelt,
they climbed back up to the road.
went down 4 times looking for Copper, he
sat on the service road and built a fire for
the night waiting for daybreak.
went down and looked for Copper and found
ended up hiking home as no one stopped to
Later at the hospital they discovered
that Andrea had 2 broken vertebrae, gashes
in her head and 2 lesions on her brain.
had 3 cracked ribs.
All they could think of was to get
out so they could get back to looking for
Copper was after all, their child.
next day a car club got together and spent
four hours pulling up the wreckage from the
No one saw or heard Copper.
They brought squeaky toys and called
for him days after the accident.
posted on several sites, hung flyers and
even posted on Craigslist four days after
Someone saw the posting and forwarded
it to a group called Wags to Riches Animal
Rescue and Sanctuary in Union Gap,
They had been involved in an eerily
similar rescue after a rollover car accident
not 30 days before.
They found that dog after ten days.
It was alive.
contacted Andrea and told her, “Have hope,
we will find him”.
volunteers set out on Sunday, 5 days after
They were told that because no one
had seen or heard the dog that this could be
a body recovery. But they needed to do it,
for the family, so they would have closure
and could begin to heal.
Chism, Kim and Chris Wertenberger and
Jennifer Ray spread out and went over the
cliff to the gully.
They methodically started to comb the
girls went together and the men went on the
The brush was so thick that a machete
had to be used to make a path.
At the bottom of the gully was a
The girls jumped over the creek and
went up and around to walk on the other
yelled out “Copper”.
A few minutes later they heard
Mama Bear instinct came flying out
and they threw all caution to the wind as
they ran and wildly scraped at the branches
and brush trying to get to the dog.
All the while yelling “It’s okay
baby we’re coming.
Good boy Copper!”
When they got to him, he had made a
little nest for himself right by the creek.
When they realized he was not going
to let them put a leash on him they sat down
beside him and spoke soothingly to him.
Bob drove down to where Andrea and
were staying to tell them Copper was found
but they needed someone to come and call him
to motivate him.
In the meantime Chris cut a path
through the brush for Copper to go through.
20 minutes we heard the car pull up above us
and they started calling for him.
The look on Copper’s face when he
heard his momma yelling his name!
His ears flew back, he barked in
reply and stood up to come out of his hiding
a bit of confusion, a lot of encouragement
and praise, Copper made it up that cliff to
his waiting parents.
Everyone was crying and hugging.
Copper was alive and well.
on that cliff side, looking down, it’s
hard to believe that all three made it out
love and devotion of a dog, a family’s
hope and a group’s determination had
reunited them again.
Around 6pm, on 8/20/08, Donna Prime volunteer for Wags to Riches Animal Rescue, took a call from the Washington State Troopers dispatch stating that there had been an accident on White Pass and there were animals involved. Without thinking she told them that they could count on Wags to help out. She didn’t quite know who would be available to help, but she began calling immediately. Roger Vandiver (Wags’ President) got the call from her and she relayed the information to him. Roger contacted the State Patrol and was told the location of the accident. He and his wife Bev left immediately for White Pass. When they arrived at the scene Roger said that you could see where a big full sized 4 door truck had left the road, rolled, hit two large trees and then continued to roll and roll. It was crushed like a beer can. In addition to the woman driving there were 7 small dogs in the backseat on a blanket. The woman was transported by ambulance to Regional Hospital in Yakima, while Roger and his wife proceeded to collect 6 of the 7 dogs. One had escaped. It was seen by an officer, running from the accident. Roger and Bev briefly looked for the missing dog, but felt that since they had injured animals they needed to get them seen by a Vet as soon as possible.
Roger called Donna on his way back to town with the animals and it was decided that they would call Tieton Drive Animal Clinic due to the severity of injuries in a couple of the dogs. It was after hours but the on call doctor returned the call. Dr. Kegley agreed to meet Roger at the clinic and vet check the 6 animals. It was determined that two of the six would need further care and observation so they were kept overnight.
Our volunteer Bob Chism met Roger and Bev at the vet clinic and took the other 4 home with him. We got an update from Bob via email at 1:19am stating that he and the accident victim’s husband went back up to the scene and searched for the seventh dog, but had no luck. They were going to announce it on the radio this morning in the hopes that someone has found her and are taking care of her.
The woman in the accident, Susan Moe, has fractured vertebrae in her neck, but doesn’t appear to be paralyzed. She was awake and talking with her husband today. The two animals that were kept at Tieton Drive did not suffer life threatening injuries and should make full recoveries. They were released from Tieton Drive Animal Clinic today at 4pm. Erik, Susan’s husband will pick them up tomorrow and take them home, after he is done visiting his wife in the hospital.
Bob and his friend Pam McDonnell went back up to the pass today and asked around at the cabins and the store up there, but no one has seen the missing dog. They are still looking for her. She is a black, long haired dachshund. If anyone has seen her or has any information as to her whereabouts they can contact us at 509-453-4155.
took a lot of people getting involved
(rafters, people driving by and
stopping and saying they saw her
running beside the road, Forest Service and
WAGS, but WE did it. Crumb is
going to be safe and warm tonight. I
have not talked with Susan as of yet but I
am sure she will be calling but Erik sends
his heartfelt thanks to All of Wags for
being there when they needed us. Here
are a couple pictures of Crumb and Erik
(right) and Bob Chism, Foster Coordinator
to Riches is answering a call to assist a
rescue organization in Adams County that,
over the past weekend, was able to rescue
109 dogs and puppies from a puppy mill in
that area. Many of these animals are
starving and ill. 4 needed to be euthanized
on the spot, several dogs and cats were
already dead and several more may not be
healthy enough to survive.
have put out the call for donated dog and
puppy food and will transport all that we
receive up to Othello Pet Rescue in the next
day or so. Because of the condition of most
of the animals we are asking for high
quality dog and puppy food.
We would like
to thank Gap West Broadcasting, 92.9 The
Bull, KUTI AND KIT for their speedy response
to our plea for help. Donations can be
delivered to their station on 40th and
Summitview or to 3506 So. 3rd. Street in
Union Gap. We will also be happy to pick up
any donations. Call us at 248-2789 and ask
UPDATE- UPDATE- UPDATE
2008 - The people of Yakima and surrounding
areas ARE THE BEST!!! Several volunteers for
our organization transported donated canned
dog and puppy food, several large bags of
dog food, blankets and towels, and other
donated items, along with some cash to help
with other needed items, to the Adams County
Pet Rescue in Othello on Wednesday. In fact
we had the whole back end of a van full.
Thanks to the awesome radio stations of Gap
West and the generosity of the Yakima Valley
many donations were delivered in a very
We were able
to see first-hand many of the 109 dogs and
puppies that were rescued from the puppy
mill in Lind, WA. Sadly several of the dogs
did not make it. It was very gratifying to
see those that did. There were volunteers
cleaning the runs, stacking the donations
that we brought, working with the dogs,
feeding them and giving them medications.
Others were sitting in one of the runs with
the dogs trying to get close enough to see
if there was a Microchip. Two were sitting
in the Puppy Room trying to make friends
with the little guys. Some of the dogs were
hurt and some seemed to have permanent
injuries. There was a pregnant female and
another one that they had just realized was
also pregnant and due fairly soon.
There was one
room that was for the quarantined dogs and
each crate had a blanket, food and water
dish, a clipboard on top with information
that told the time the dog was treated, what
he/she was treated for and what they were
treated with. There was an amazing amount of
activity and progress.
people came, while we were there, to drop
off donations or to see the dogs. One of our
fosters, from that area, had been there
several times helping out with the
overwhelming task at hand. There is no
question that these folks knew what they
were doing. They were exceedingly organized
and the place was immaculate.
continuing to ask for donations of food or
money to help these animals and hope to have
enough to make another transport later this
We were told
that this is the 3rd raid on a puppy mill in
that area. Jessica and rest of the
volunteers of this rescue are to be
commended for a very tough job very well
done. How tragic that this can and does
happen. Long after we are all gone I suspect
there will still be a need for animal rescue
organizations like ours. The woman who owned
this puppy mill can ask for these animals
back and can get them if she is not
convicted and if she pays all of the bills
for veterinary care and boarding and other
expenses. The word is that she plans to get
rid of the OTHER animals she had on the
property and is moving away. Hopefully word
will follow her and she won't be able to
start another puppy mill.