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Blackhead Peak: Dog Stays by Side of Deceased Colorado Hiker for Months

Blackhead Peak: Dog Stays by Side of Deceased Colorado Hiker for Months

In a poignant incident in Colorado, a hiker who had been missing since August was tragically found deceased, with his loyal dog surviving by his side.

The hiker, identified as 71-year-old Rich Moore from Pagosa Springs, embarked on a hike with his dog, Finney, a white Jack Russell terrier, on August 19th. Their destination was Blackhead Peak, a mountain situated just east of Moore’s home.

Despite extensive search efforts, Moore remained missing for months. The search teams, including Taos Search and Rescue (TSR), faced challenging terrain.

Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, a member of TSR, recounted the difficulty of the search, noting that the steepness of the terrain necessitated helicopter insertion for the search teams.

The search for Moore concluded on October 30th when a hunter in the Rio Blanco drainage area, approximately 2.5 miles east of Blackhead Peak, discovered Moore’s body.

In a testament to the bond between a pet and its owner, Moore’s dog Finney was found alive, steadfastly by his side.

Finney received veterinary care

The cause of Moore’s death had not been determined at the time of the discovery. Following the tragic event, Finney received veterinary care and was subsequently reunited with Moore’s family.

Blackhead Peak, where the incident occurred, is known for its challenging terrain and high elevation of 12,500 feet. It is located within the South San Juan Wilderness in Archuleta County, Colorado. This incident serves as a somber reminder of the unpredictability and potential dangers of hiking in remote and rugged areas, as well as the remarkable loyalty and resilience of our canine companions.


Rich Moore, 71, of Pagosa Spring, Colorado
Colorado Missing Person Organization Foto:

My name is James. A passionate veterinarian who is dedicated to providing the best care for all animals. With a gentle touch and a kind heart, I have earned a reputation as a trusted and respected member of the animal healthcare community.