Friends rescue dog trapped in remote cave on Vancouver Island coast
VICTORIA -- Two friends headed to the Juan de Fuca trail for an overnight fishing and camping trip this weekend, when they ended up catching something much bigger than they expected.
Zach Regan and his friend Matty were heading back home to Sooke on Saturday when something caught their eye on the shore near Magdalena Point.
“Just glancing in the caves as we were going by, I saw tan legs walk out, just a glimpse, and I thought, ‘Oh that looks like an animal,’” said Regan.
They quickly turned their fishing boat around and realized the tan creature was a lost dog.
“It was very clear that it was a dog … and we immediately decided it was in major distress,” said Regan. “It was evident that she couldn’t escape, she was stuck in this cave and little beach area.”
After scanning the coastline for hikers or the dog's owner and not seeing anyone, Matty put on a wetsuit, jumped in the water and paddled towards the cave.
“He one-arm paddled out, I came in with the boat and I grabbed her before she sank to the bottom because she was so weak,” said Regan.
They bundled a life jacket around the dog and put her inside a surf bag to stay warm as they made the trip home to Sooke.
Leslie Steeves, the founder of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (ROAM), said as soon as she saw the location she knew there was more to the story.
“The area she was found in was in one of the most difficult parts of the Juan de Fuca Trail,” said Steeves. “That dog would have died there, and they saved her.”
Regan said they’ve decided to name her Shaggy Maggy after Magdalena Point. The dog is staying with him until her owners are found.
“She’s eating, drinking water, sleeping and I gave her a wash because she was super stinky,” said Regan.
Steeves said ROAM is trying to find the dog’s owner and also learn more about her.
“The next step will be to find out what we can find out about her story,” said Steeves. “We want to make sure there is nobody out there that is injured or lost … and we will be getting her scanned for a chip.”
For now, the mystery of what happened is known only to Maggy.