Dog dies on Piestewa Peak hiking trail, another dog rescued

A man brought two dogs on a hike at Piestewa Peak Wednesday afternoon - now, one of the dogs is dead and another is recovering.

In a statement, Phoenix Police Sergeant Robert Scherer said officers responded to a trailhead near 27th Street and Piestewa Peak Drive at around 11:15 a.m. regarding a mountain rescue.

"The rescue was completed by Phoenix Fire personnel, which included an adult male identified as 29-year-old Daniel Milunovic and two dogs," read a portion of the police statement. "One dog was deceased when fire contacted them on the mountain and the other dog was in heat distress."

"We tried to resuscitate the dog, put some water on him, did some CPR," said Dr. Sam Tytler, who was hiking on Piestewa Peak. "Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a heartbeat."

The dog that died was described as a four-year-old or five-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback.

According to reports, the dog that survived is being taken care of by the Arizona Humane Society.

Milunovic was medically assessed but refused transport to the hospital, according to fire officials. The person, according to Phoenix Police officials, was issued a citation in lieu of detention for failing to leave a park upon a lawful order.

The decision, according to Phoenix Police, was made after consulting with the Arizona Humane Society and other involved entities. Police officials also noted that a citation in lieu of detention is considered an arrest.

Back in 2016, the city of Phoenix passed a rule banning dogs from the city's trails when temperatures reach 100 degrees or higher.

"There are signs that say no dogs on this trail," said Dr. Tytler. "You know dogs have higher body temperature, they have no sweat glands, this is just a terrible event."

"There’s a reason why no one should be on this trail right now, whether it’s a human, whether it’s a dog," said Cpt. Todd Keller with the Phoenix Fire Department. "It’s 110 degrees out right now, we’re in an Excessive Heat Warning. This is why these laws are implemented, so dogs don’t die. So people don’t die."

According to police, an animal cruelty investigation relating to the dead dog is ongoing.

"If after these evaluations, it is determined that charging a more significant charge is appropriate, the necessary measures will occur," read a portion of a statement released by police.

‘Shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs’

Erric Harvey was on his way up the mountain when he knew the dogs didn't look good.

"I ran into a gentleman with two dogs, they looked distressed already. I said, ‘Hey dude, I don’t think dogs are allowed.’ He said, ‘We’re almost done, it’s all cool,’" Harvey said.

His fear became a reality.

"You hear sirens as I was coming back down. As I was getting closer, sure enough, one of the dogs was laying there," he said.

He says he has dogs and he wouldn’t have taken them.

"Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs if you’re gonna treat them this way," he said.

Tracey Miiller with the Arizona Humane Society says damage to the dog who survived may be irreparable.

"They may never be able to recover from this because their internal temperature has gotten so high, that for lack of a better word, it basically cooks their brain. So they could have long to term damage," she said.

Piestewa Peak: