The wet pooch cuddled up in a blanket after he was fished from the frigid waters.

By Madison Pincombe
November 19, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of the Dickinson Fire Department

Alaskan malamute Jack’s curiosity got him into quite the predicament Monday. On a walk with his owner near the Heart River in North Dakota, Jack wandered toward the river not realizing the ice was too thin to get across. 

The pup's exploratory nature walk took a turn for the worse when he unfortunately fell through the ice, not realizing it was too thin to support him. His owner quickly called for help, and the local fire department arrived on the scene to get Jack to safety and out of the frigid waters.

When the crew arrived, it became apparent that Jack had broken through the ice approximately 30 feet from shore—too far to reach the pooch and too dangerous for them to cross on-foot. “[The dog] was really struggling trying to get out. It had kind of hit the thicker ice and was unable to break through,” fire Chief Jeremy Presnell told the Grand Forks Herald.

The crew immediately worked to secure Jack so he wouldn’t plunge under the water. “We laid a ladder out across the ice and were able to get the dog onto the ladder and got it out,” Presnell said. This process required multiple firefighters who worked for about 15 minutes to get the pooch to safety.

After safely rescuing Jack, the Dickinson Fire Department warmed him up inside the lobby of the nearby water treatment plant. Jack enjoyed the warm company of the firefighters before being reunited with his owner. 

"Two legs, four legs, if its heart beats, it's our priority,” the fire department writes in a Facebook post.

Ice Safety for Dogs

As temperatures continue to drop this fall and into winter, it's important to be mindful of your dog’s safety—especially when walking them around frozen bodies of water. If you venture out in the cold with your canine companion, be sure to keep a close eye on your dog at all times. Better yet, keep them on a leash and sturdy harness so they stay close by and safe.

“If somebody does find themselves in a situation where they see an animal out on the ice or an animal that’s fallen through, don’t go after them,” Presnell said. “Just try to call them back to shore and if they fall in, call for help.”