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News / Life / Pets & Wildlife

Chihuahua mix rescued from roof of Orchards-area house (with video)

Homeowner can only speculate on how he got up there

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: July 14, 2013, 5:00pm

A dog is now safely on the ground after straying onto the roof of a house in the Sunnyside neighborhood Monday morning.

Barry Klettke was backing out of his driveway on his way to his morning walk, with his Tibetan terrier Bella in the passenger seat, when he heard Bella growl.

“I looked up to see what she was looking at and saw a dog was standing on top of my roof,” he said.

He called 911 at about 10 a.m. to notify authorities of the strange situation. Clark County Animal Control Officer Patrick Higbie responded to the house, 8911 N.E. 79th St., to bring the 15-pound Chihuahua mix down.

“This is a first,” he said. Higbie has responded to calls where birds, such as chickens, were stuck on roofs, but never a dog.

Higbie had responded to a different call about a half hour earlier where someone reported a Chihuahua on the loose in the neighborhood, but he didn’t find the canine when he searched the area. He left, responding to other calls, before getting dispatched back to Klettke’s house.

He scaled a ladder and sat on the roof of the garage, staying quiet as he tried to coax the dog toward him by offering pieces of a hot dog. It wasn’t long before Higbie slipped a rope snare over the dog’s head and brought him back down to the ground.

“As long as the dog doesn’t just scoot and run away from you instantaneously, there’s always a good chance you’ll be able to sit down, relax, and show the dog that you’re not a threat,” Higbie said. “Then you can get within range to catch it in some way, shape or form.”

Klettke was relieved.

“I didn’t want him to jump off and break a leg,” he said.

As for how the dog got onto the roof, Klettke can only guess.

“All I can think is that I left the garage door open,” Klettke said. “He must have gone into the garage, up the stairs and onto the roof from the (second-story) patio.”

The dog, which did not have a collar and was not registered, was taken to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, where it will be held for three days to allow someone to claim it. After that, the agency will evaluate the dog for medical issues, neuter the animal if necessary and then offer him for adoption.

Higbie stressed the importance of registering pets with Clark County so that if they do get away, animal control officers can reunite them with their owners.

The real hero, Klettke said, is Bella.

“That poor dog would have been up there on a 90-degree day,” he said.

Watch a video of the rescue on The Columbian’s YouTube Channel.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter