LIBERTYVILLE, I.L. (WNCT) — Firefighters in Libertyville, Illinois, rescued a dog that had fallen into an icy pond and returned it to its owner, footage posted on February 18 showed.
Libertyville Fire Department (LFD) said the dog had broken through the ice in the middle of a retention pond. The owner had tried to help, but another witness convinced them it was unsafe.
In the footage, filmed by onlooker Jerry Bellak, a firefighter wearing an exposure suit can be seen being pulled back to shore with the dog.
“We heard the cries of a pet parent concerned for the life of her drowning dog, we all ran out to see if we could help,” Bellak told Storyful.
“The poor, unfortunate dog fell through the ice and was fighting to stay afloat. The only thing we could do was to encourage the dog to swim towards safety, but it could not get back up on the ice. We felt completely helpless,” Bellak said.
“The firefighter entered the water immediately and started the difficult swim through the ice and bitter cold. We were all just hoping he could reach the dog in time…Once the firefighter reached and hugged the dog, we felt so much relief,” Bellak added.
The LFD said the dog was “hypothermic and very weak,” and was taken to a veterinarian. They said both dog and owner were doing well.