Liberation in Action: The Riley & Zach Story

News Flash

A man’s wife dies. And if this heartbreak weren’t enough, their beloved dog, Riley, leaves home and disappears into the cold of the Colorado wilderness, likely in search of her.

Riley’s disappearance was a mystery since his home’s property was enclosed by tall fences. Despite search and rescue volunteers weathering miles of cold terrain to find Riley, they had no luck.

Five weeks later, a hiker who had recently relocated to Colorado heard a faint “yip” as he was exploring the top of the mountains adjacent his new home. There was Riley shivering in the cold and barely hanging on to life.

The hiker, Zach Hackett, is our featured liberator this week. He knew he’d be facing a long, dangerous trek carrying Riley down steep slopes and rough mountain terrain, but he didn’t think twice. After securing him in a blanket and hugging him to his chest, he began a difficult two hour descent to carry him to safety.

Zach Hackett talks about how Riley was finally reunited with his loved ones in this special podcast on CBC Radio.


Zach is definitely a hero. It's quite a story and certainly a miracle that Riley survived. Unbelievable really. Very heartwarming for sure.