Park Ranger Kris Salapek was hailed as a hero after his kind deed reached social media.
Last year a man was recognized for his kind and heroic deeds after he rescued a helpless dog from a treacherous mountain trail. It was June 23, 2020, when the temperature soared as high as 90 degrees in the mountainous hills of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area. Lexie Daniel and a group of hikers happened to cross paths with a man whose dog appeared to be severely overheated and in desperate need of hydration. All the group could do at that point was offer the water they had on them to the canine which was in desperate need. Unfortunately, the quantity of water just wasn't enough to save his life given the dire condition the pup was in.
"The owner brought along a huge jug, but no amount of water seemed to be helping," Daniel told Good News Network. She added that the pet owner was so spent that he could not carry his dog all the way down through the treacherous mountain trail. As he was not ready to risk his dog's life, he immediately "called the park rangers ASAP" and reported their location on Mount Tammany. Shortly thereafter, supervisory Park Ranger Kris Salapek found them on the mountainside trail.
Without wasting any more time, Salapek lifted the large dog, placed him on his back, and began walking down the rocky terrain to get him to safety, recalled Daniel. She said, "The ranger then picked him back up over his shoulders and walked all the way back down to the street. He must’ve been on his shoulders for about an hour, it was a long way down!" As soon as they arrived at the stream, Salapek "laid him in the water as he knelt beside him and poured water on him."
Recounting that day, Daniel's cousin, Tori Matyola said, "The owner hiked down ahead of the ranger so that once he got down the mountain he had the car ready to take him straight to the vet. The dog was looking a little better by the time he got to the car and picking up his head." Once Daniel, a pediatric nurse from Hackettstown, New Jersey, reached home she decided to show her appreciation of the ranger's kind deed by letting the world know what Salapek had done for the dog. Her post on Facebook immediately went viral, as people began sharing the post and expressing their admiration for the hero. The post garnered over 55,000 likes and was shared 38,000 times.
Taking to Facebook, she wrote: I need to make a huge shoutout to a park ranger at mt Tammany in NJ. His name is K Salapek...This ranger SAVED this dogs life. This is a HERO. This dog probably wouldn’t have made it without him. We are so lucky to have rangers like this that put even animals before themselves. This ranger deserves insane recognition and a standing ovation for his bravery, selflessness, and strength. She also noted that the "dog was not dumped" and that the "owner was there also and visibly upset, just couldn’t carry the dog himself."
According to Yahoo News, Daniel later provided an update on the dog's condition after getting in touch with the ranger. Apparently, Salapek had been in contact with the owner of the dog who told him that the pooch was doing much better and was making a full recovery.