VIRAL VIDEO: Base Jumping Dog Prompts Social Media Controversy

By Brian Shields

Thu May 29th, 2014 9:09am America/Los_Angeles

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SWITZERLAND (KRON) — Video showing a base jumping dog leaping with his human from a 13,000 foot peak in the Swiss Alps is going viral on social media.

In the video, adventurer Dean Potter is seen attaching his Australian Cattledog “Whisper” to a static line and transferring man and canine to the top of the Eiger mountain peak. Potter then straps “Whisper” to the back of his wingsuit and jumps from the peak.

The video is drawing criticism from some on social media who say the stunt is dangerous and cruel to the dog. Potter took to his blog to answer that.

He says “Whisper” is always secured with a Ruffwear DoubleBack Harness designed for humans who weigh far more than her 22 lbs. The dog is also attached with two full-strength locking carabiners and a 10mm climbing rope designed to hold humans, he says.

“I know my family’s adventures must scare a lot of you who have rarely or never been into the wild or are afraid of heights and exposure,” Potter writes. “We are all different, and in no way am I saying that my way is right and your way is wrong. I just want to let you all to know that we do everything possible to keep Whisper super safe, well beyond the equivalent safety of a human being in the same scenario”

The jumper also says whenever he puts on his wingsuit, “Whisper” makes it very clear she wants to come along.

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