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Firefighters rescue 3 pets from dangerous icy ponds

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Firefighters are warning pet owners about the dangers of icy ponds after rescuing several dogs that fell through the ice.

One incident happened near Denison and Southern Street Tuesday afternoon.

“We received a drowning call, but we didn’t know for sure if it was a person or an animal,” said firefighter Nolan Bastein, Wayne Township Fire Department. “When we got there we saw there was a dog in the water.”

A two minute cell phone video captured by the Wayne Township Fire Department shows firefighter Nolan Bastein sliding his way across the frozen pond to rescue the pit bull mix.

“I worked my way out there to try to catch it with a collar,” said Bastein. “We keep on the truck, but that didn’t work so I just reached out and grabbed her and pulled her up on the ice. She seemed nice.”

Firefighters say the pit bull somehow made her way onto a gated retention pond and fell through.

“I wasn’t really sure if the ice was going to hold me because I’m kind of a bigger guy,” said Bastein. “She just crawled out and if you fall through, it’s no big deal because the suit will keep you afloat.”

It took Bastein less than five minutes to bring the dog to safety.

“She wasn’t really heavy, so I just grabbed her and picked her up on the ice. I thought maybe she walked in, but she was just really tired, I just held onto her and let the rope dragged me in,” said Bastein.

Once on shore, firefighters dried the dog, warmed her up, and gave her back to her owner.

“We haven’t really heard the whole story on how the dog got out from where her home was,” said Captain Michael Pruitt, Wayne Township Fire Department. “But we know that dog tends to run just like kids do and they’ll run out on the ice and the next thing you know, they’ll get in a weak spot and fall right through.”

This incident wasn’t the only dog rescue that happened Tuesday. A couple of hours later, the Indianapolis Fire Department rescued two dogs, a German Rottweiler and a Black Lab/Golden Retriever, in the 5400 block of Skipping Stone.

Cell phone video shows the rescue, the firefighter making his way towards the center of the pond where the dogs were, and one by one, they were brought to safety.

Firefighters say they used a flotation device called a mustang suit to help with the rescue. The yellow suit covers them from head to toe, it’s insulated and is made to handle the freezing temperature.