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Newly Adopted Dog Is Found On Frozen River Clinging To Ice Block

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on May 9, 2022

The first day in a new home can be scary for some dogs. If a dog is extra nervous on their adoption day, they may be more likely to run away. A Labradoodle named Lucy had recently gone to her new home about two months ago, but it was a lot for her to handle. So, she ran away and got herself into a dangerous situation.

Lucy wound up on a floating ice chunk in the Detroit River. She was frozen in place, too scared to find a way to escape. If no one had spotted her and been willing to save her, she would’ve died. But luckily, help was on the way!

Dog stranded on floating ice

Stranded on Ice

One of the neighbors spotted her stranded on the chunk of ice and immediately called 911. Their quick thinking helped save Lucy’s life. The 80-pound dog was about 40 to 50 feet from the shore when she was spotted.

“If not for that, that dog would have froze to death or drowned,” said Wyandotte Deputy Police Chief Archie Hamilton, referring to the 911 call.

At first, officials considered calling the U.S. Coast Guard because of how far in the water the dog was. But when Wyandotte firefighters arrived at the scene, they had their own plans for saving Lucy.

Firefighter saving dog from river

Firefighters Save the Day!

Firefighter Derrek Azzopardi climbed down a ladder that rescuers had attached to the dock. He sat on the ladder in an insulated suit with his lower half in the water. Azzopardi was only a few feet away from where the dog was stranded. The dog’s body was flat against the ice block, refusing to move toward him. It took a total of 30 minutes to rescue Lucy.

So, Azzopardi used a catchpole to lasso the dog and carefully pull her to shore. At first, Lucy was reluctant to touch the frigid water, but once Azzopardi held her in his arms, she relaxed a bit so he could carefully carry her to safety.

RELATED: Miracle Dog Survives 4 Days On Frigid River After Coyote Chase

Firefighter carrying dog to shore

“It had such a happy outcome,” said Wyandotte Assistant Fire Chief Tom Lyon. “She just had those big brown eyes, and she couldn’t talk, but she probably was just so grateful.”

The firefighters are relieved that the neighbors called for help instead of attempting the rescue themselves. If they had, they could’ve put themselves in danger too. Wyandotte firefighters respond to about one or two canine ice rescues a year. The firefighters know that dogs are part of the family, so they’re always quick to save the day in scary situations like this.

Watch the Heroic Rescue Here:

Featured Image: YouTube

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