A tethered Bend firefighter in an “ice rescue” suit helped a German Shepherd reach safety Tuesday afternoon after the dog fell through the ice on a large irrigation pond east of town, officials said.
Firefighters responded around 1:20 p.m. to Steve Young's rural property on 62720 Waugh Road on a report that a dog had fallen through a large ice-covered irrigation pond and was unable to get out, said fire Capt. Andy Hood.
When crews arrived, neighbors directed them to the pond, where they found the German shepherd struggling to get out of the icy water, stuck about 20 yards from the edge of the pond, Hood said.
The tethered rescuer in the ice rescue suit was able to help the dog to shore, where he was examined and found to be unhurt and in good health, the fire captain said.
Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies remained on scene to locate the dog’s owner.
Hood said the Bend Fire Department wants to remind everyone of the dangers of ice-covered water.
“It is difficult to identify the stability of ice over a body of water,” he wrote. “Do not take chances venturing out on any frozen body of water.”
In this case, Hood said, neighbors did the right thing, notifying 911 and not trying to rescue the dog on their own.
“Stay safe and stay on shore!” the fire captain said.