ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A large dog had to be carried out of the park Monday morning after it and another dog got stuck with quills from a porcupine, according to a park ranger.
The dogs were off a trail with their owner picking blueberries on Parkman Mountain when the incident occurred about 7:30 a.m., Ranger Brian Dominy said. One got just a snoutful of quills while the other got quills in its face and paws, he said.
“That one had to be carried out,” Dominy said of Felix, the dog with injured paws. He was not sure of the breed but said it weighed 90 pounds.
The other dog, named Franny, though clearly uncomfortable, was able to walk out on its own.
Park personnel carried Felix in a litter for about half a mile to a nearby carriage road, where both dogs were transferred to a pickup truck, rangers said. They were taken to Acadia Veterinary Hospital in Bar Harbor to have the quills removed, Dominy added.
“That’s why leashes are required [in the park],” Dominy said.
Stuart West, head ranger for Acadia, said that the dogs’ owner, James Lyle of the Bahamas, had the dogs on leashes but let go of them when he started picking blueberries. It did not take long for the dogs to come across and get tangled up with the porcupine, he said.
West said rangers do not plan to cite Lyle for not maintaining control of the dogs while inside the park’s borders.
“The vet bill is enough to persuade him not to do it again,” West said.
West said that animal rescues are rare in the park, and the only ones he can recall have involved dogs. In the 10 years he has worked in Acadia, he said, there have been four dog rescues, three of which he has been involved with directly.
“We’ve seen it all — dogs getting [stuck on ledges], dogs running out into traffic, dogs getting tangled up with wildlife,” West said in a separate prepared statement. “These are just some of the reasons why park rangers ask pet owners to keep their dogs under control. All it takes is a split second, and before you know it, you’re headed to the vet.”
In 2012, rangers rescued a Newfoundland dog named Oolum, which weighed more than 100 pounds, when he got heatstroke while hiking on Dorr Mountain with his owners.
In 2011, an 8-month-old black Lab was rescued by rangers after it ran away from its home in Southwest Harbor. The dog was rescued from a ledge off the side of Razorback Trail four days after it ran off.