Dog tired! Specialist team spend five hours rescuing Daisy the 121lb St Bernard after she collapsed while descending England’s highest mountain in the Lake District

  •  St Bernard dog displayed signs of pain in her legs as she came down Scafell Pike
  •  Sixteen volunteers from Wasdale Mountain rescue team helped retrieve her 
  •  Dogs were originally bred to help with Alpine rescues in Italy and Switzerland

In moments of peril, many a mountaineer can thank a St Bernard dog for helping save their lives. 

But it was Daisy, a 121lb (55kg) St Bernard, who needed saving after the distressed pooch collapsed while descending England’s highest peak. 

Sixteen volunteers from Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team spent nearly five hours making their way up Scafell Pike and helping retrieve the injured pet after receiving a call from Cumbria Police.

Daisy the St Bernard dog collapsed while descending Scafell Pike in the Lake District

The team said the dog was displaying signs of pain in her rear legs and was refusing to move as she came down from the summit of the mountain with her owners on Friday evening.

A spokesman said: ‘Having team members with their own pampered pooches at home, and also our very own much-adored search dog Jess, we recognise the distress that both an animal can feel and also that of their owners.

Sixteen volunteers from Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team spent nearly five hours helping her

The team evacuated Daisy on a stretcher after she displayed pain from her rear legs

‘When Cumbria Police contacted us, our members didn’t need to think twice about mobilising and deploying to help retrieve Daisy off England’s highest mountain.

What are St Bernards? 

Mountain rescuers: The St Bernard

The St Bernard is a breed of very large working dog from the western Alps in Italy and Switzerland.

They were originally bred for rescue by the hospice of the Great St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border.

The hospice was built by and named after Italian monk Bernard of Menthon.

St Bernards usually weigh between 65 and 120kg (140 and 260 lb).

They have been typically depicted carrying a brandy barrel round their necks for anyone they rescue, but there is no evidence this actually happened.

The team said they sought advice from vets before beginning the rescue operation and were able to assess Daisy’s condition and administer pain relief, before lifting her off the mountain on a stretcher.

They said: ‘After a little persuasion and a bit of arranging the stretcher to become dog-friendly, and of course plenty more treats, the 55kg Daisy very quickly settled down with her chin resting on the head guard, having realised we were trying to help her.

‘From there on, apart from the odd little adjustment, the evacuation was found to be not that much different to a normal adult evacuation which is the bread and butter of our team and we have done hundreds of times before.’

St Bernard dogs were originally bred to help with rescues in the Alps in Italy and Switzerland.

They are named after the hospice built by Italian monk Bernard of Menthon, which is where they were first bred.

The team said Daisy was the ‘perfect casualty’ and is now recovering from her own rescue ordeal.

The spokesman said: ‘She apparently feels a bit guilty and slightly embarrassed about letting down the image of her cousins bouncing across the Alpine snows with barrels of brandy around their necks.’

The team thanked West Lakeland Veterinary Group and Galemire Veterinary Hospital for their advice and support during the rescue. 

Donations can be made to the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team at

The rescuers make their way down Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, with Daisy


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