Montague Center firefighters rescue dog from frozen Lake Pleasant

  • A pair of Montague Center firefighters walk across a frozen Lake Pleasant carrying a dog they rescued on Wednesday. The dog had fallen through the ice. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 3/18/2021 3:55:38 PM

LAKE PLEASANT — Montague Center firefighters came to the rescue of a dog in distress Wednesday, after it fell through the ice on Lake Pleasant.

Dave Hansen, chief of the Montague Center Fire Department, said eight of his crew members responded to the end of the Bridge of Names near the Post Office, once the call about the dog came in at 2:52 p.m.

“There was a dog through the ice, and the owner was there and was unable to reach the dog,” he recounted.

Hansen, who was not on the scene himself, said the firefighters who responded believe the owner may live nearby in Lake Pleasant. He was unsure of the dog or owner’s names, or if the dog was male or female, but described it as a medium-size, mixed-breed dog.

The ice was thick enough that Hansen said a pair of two firefighters wearing cold water wetsuits were able to walk across the frozen lake to rescue the dog. He estimates the animal was at least 75 feet away from shore.

“We have a protocol that all of our departments that have this equipment use, which is to have two people who are wearing the suits perform the rescue,” Hansen detailed. “We have another two suits on the shore in case they need rescuing themselves, and then we have additional crew on the sides who have personal flotation devices that are attached to the rescuers.”

If the ice had been thinner, Hansen said his crew would have reached the dog using a special inflatable boat.

“The dog was hanging on and was tired enough that it didn’t fight them,” he explained. ‘The dog was pretty lethargic and exhausted. I’m sure that’s due to hypothermia and just the struggling of trying to hang onto the ice, the poor thing.”

After the rescue, which Hansen said took firefighters less than 10 minutes, he said family members arrived to take the dog, possibly to be examined by a veterinarian.

Reach Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or sashline@recorder.com.

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