A young woman is in a coma, and her dog has died, after a tragic incident in Yellowstone National Park. On October 4, 20-year-old Laiha Slayton rushed into 190-degree hot spring water after her Shih Tzu, Rusty, fell in.
According to a news release from national park officials, the woman and her father had stopped near the hot spring and when they exited their vehicle, the dog also got out and ran into the water of Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River.
But Slayton’s efforts to save her pup were in vain. Not only did Slayton get burned badly enough that she had to be placed into a medically induced coma to allow the third-degree burns over much of her body to heal, but Rusty’s burns proved to be fatal.
In the release about the tragic incident, park officials offered safety advice for visitors:
The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/yellsafety.
Visitors: While in the park, protect your pets by physically controlling them at all times. Pets must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than six feet long. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.
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