Dog Trapped for Days in Boulders Rescued

Dog rescued in Valley Center
Credit: Valley Center Fire Protection District

A young German shepherd mix is recovering from her injuries Friday after finding herself trapped between two boulders since at least Monday.

A Valley Center couple could hear a dog yelping but couldn’t find the animal until Thursday. She was stuck in a rocky and rugged ravine just outside their property. They recognized the dog as a stray they had been feeding for a while.

A County animal control officer called in firefighters from the Valley Center Fire Protection District and they all climbed in to reach the animal.

“She probably went in after a rabbit or squirrel but when she got in there, got her head stuck,” said Animal Control Officer Denise Gove.

After trying several methods to release her, the crews used rescue tools to shift and chip away at the rocks until they freed the dog.

A firefighter carried the 40-pound dog out, and she was taken to the County’s animal shelter in Carlsbad.

The dog, named Rocksann by firefighters, appeared fine but her face began to swell, and County animal medical teams found crushing injuries alongside her head and sides. She underwent treatment to repair the wounds and will need ongoing care as she heals.

If she hadn’t been rescued, though, they say Rocksann would have probably died from lack of water in another day or so.

Gove says it was amazing that wildlife didn’t get to the dog and that she was actually found.

“She was stuck in an unusual location and being a black and tan shepherd, looking from a distance you couldn’t see her,” said Gove.

Rocksann is about a year old and didn’t have a microchip. She’s currently on a three-day hold to see if an owner comes forward to claim her. Otherwise, there is a finder’s hold.

County Animal Services says it’s a good reminder to microchip your dogs. They offer microchipping services to residents in the unincorporated areas during regular business hours.

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact