Lost hiker in Arizona found deceased with dog who survived

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A 74-year-old man who had been lost last Friday when hiking with his dog on Mingus Mountain in Prescott National Forest, was found deceased on Wednesday afternoon; his dog Ranger had stayed by his side and survived.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, the Yavapai County Search and Rescue K9 Team stated Ranger was in serious condition but had been receiving care. The Labrador retriever appeared dehydrated and exhausted. Rescuers administered oxygen and fluids to him before rushing the dog to a veterinarian.

Mr. Hayes was found in a rugged area that had been difficult for searchers to reach, but they were able to do so this afternoon, allowing them to locate the victim. Mr. Hayes’ dog Ranger who was with him on the hike, was found alive having remained with the victim. Ranger was seen to on scene by a volunteer who was a veterinarian and was taken to a local animal hospital for treatment.

Facebook Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

Officials and volunteers searched on foot, vehicle and air for six days trying to find Mr. Hayes in the 1.25 million acre national forest, however because of the rough terrain and the vast area to be searched were not able to locate him in time. Hayes had contacted YCSO Forest Patrol last Friday afternoon stating he had become lost on his hike on Mingus Mountain. Forest Patrol informed him that rescue would be on its way and to remain at his location. Instead Hayes left that area and tried to find his way out only to become lost further in the forest.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all those listed below for their hard work and offers of assistance in locating the missing hiker Mr. Hayes and his dog Ranger:

US Forest ServiceTri City TowingYavapai Emergency Animal HospitalYavapai county search and rescue teams: Backcountry Unit, Search Dog Unit, 4×4 Unit, OHV UnitVerde Search and RescueDPS RangerYCSO Incident Command TeamCoconino County Sheriff’s OfficeMaricopa County Sheriff’s OfficeGila County Sheriff’s Office.

As reported, Ranger has since been returned to his family.

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