The owners of a Siberian husky dog rescued from a frozen pond by West Midlands firefighters after falling are warning other owners to keep their pets away from ice.
One-year-old Leo was rescued after fire crews called in specialist colleagues from a WMFS water support team based at Perry Barr to retrive the husky from the hole he created in a snow-covered pond.
Owner Kelly Sin said: “We took Leo to the vet afterwards and, luckily, he’s fine. We can’t thank West Midlands Fire Service enough for what they did.
“It was horrible to see. Leo was just howling, because Huskies don’t really bark like other dogs. I kept thinking of my two children and a story about a man who’d died after going into icy water, which is why we called for help rather than risk trying to rescue him myself.
“I definitely won’t be letting him off the lead near ice again. I hope other dog owners won’t, either. The fire service got there very quickly, and then their boat team arrived and managed to bring Leo back to safety. It was a great relief, and Leo was right as rain as soon as he was out of the water.”
Although many animal rescues are the responsibility of the RSPCA, West Midlands Fire Service deploy to incidents at which, without their involvement, there is a risk to human life.
A WMFS spokesman said: “If a Siberian Husky can get into difficulties in this weather, then anyone can. This story had a very happy ending - but it could have been much worse.
"There’s no way of knowing the thickness of ice on pools, lakes and other waterways. Please stay off it, and make sure that any children and dog owners you know are aware of the dangers.
"People who put themselves at risk by venturing on to ice also endanger the lives of anyone who might have to rescue them."
Posted 24/01/2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org