Dog rescued from icy pond

An ice rescue boat was put to use Tuesday to save a dog from a frozen pond in rural Rushsylvania.

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Top of Ohio Pet Shelter employee Amy Tiedemann plays with a dog shelter employees knew as “Holmes” prior to his adoption. The dog, which was later adopted by Belle Center resident Stephen Main was taken to the shelter Tuesday afternoon after being rescued from a pond near Rushsylvania. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Janice Stahler, 6888 Township Road 51, said she just happened to look out her front door early Tuesday afternoon and saw a black dog fall through the ice on her pond.

“I just happened to see this dog try to climb out of the ice,” she said, relieved to learn the dog had been revived at the Top of Ohio Pet Shelter, 2521 N. U.S. Route 68, where Rushcreek emergency responders had transported the dog.

“I thought the dog was going to die. He was whimpering. I was so worried about him,” she said. “I was exhausted when they finally got here.”

Mrs. Stahler knew she couldn’t rescue the dog, so she called 9-1-1, and Rushcreek responders were dispatched.

Gregg Norris of the department said Capt. Don Crumm donned a wet suit and went out on the rescue boat to get the dog. Once they arrived at the scene, the rescue operation took only about five minutes Mr. Norris estimated.

He said the Rushcreek rescue department has had the ice boat for 10 to 15 years and it was part of a rescue package. He said it was the first time it had ever been used on ice in an actual emergency. The department had trained with it and used it in the past year or so to rescue a family whose home became surrounded by water.

“I was real pleased with the way it worked,” he said of the piece of equipment, which has no floor, but is designed to be buoyant on ice and stay afloat in water. It includes harnesses which can be hooked to victims if needed and has ropes attached to it so it can be pulled ashore. Logan County sheriff’s deputies assisted on shore, Mr. Norris said.

Capt. Crumm retrieved the dog without a harness.

The dog, owned by Stephen Main, was covered in ice and not moving much when dropped off at the shelter, said Carol Souza of the shelter.

But, he soon began to move about and seemed to be OK.

Shelter officials were attempting to contact Mr. Main Tuesday afternoon.

“We are just so excited he’s alive. It’s a good story for us,” Ms. Souz said of the successful rescue. “We had a dog shot in a driveway this week.”

Shelter staff recognized the dog as “Holmes,” which had been adopted from the shelter in September. They believe the dog, a black lab mix, is about seven years old, and his identity was confirmed through information on an embedded microchip.

Mrs. Stahler is an animal lover herself with a dog and cats in the house, she said. Her pond is home to a swan and two ducks.

“I didn’t expect to make the news. I just wanted to rescue a dog,” she said.