Watch Tip: Thin Ice

Posted on January 2nd, 2010 by Anna Nirva

weekly-watch-tips-whiteWeek of Jan. 3

Watch for dogs and cats anywhere near or on partially-frozen streams and lakes; they can break through. Keep your pets leashed. Speak with owners who let animals wander nearby.

A beautiful half-frozen New Jersey pond was a death-trap

A few days before Christmas in a New Jersey park, a man and his dog took a winter walk near a mostly frozen pond, but only the man came home. His dog wandered onto the ice and broke through. The man walked on the ice to try to rescue his canine friend, and he also fell in. He somehow managed to scramble out and went for help. He found police nearby, who immediately called the fire department. They used a ladder to pull the dog from the freezing water, and performed chest compressions to try to bring him back from death. But it was too late.

Where was the leash? With a leash, the dog probably could not have walked far on a half-frozen pond to even reach the dangerous thin ice. With a leash, the man might have pulled the dog out of the hole and across the ice, possibly saving his dog.

Did the man think his dog would somehow just “know” not to walk on ice? Or did the man just not think at all? Become fully aware of risks that threaten companion animals and their humans, and speak up when you see a problem. You may help save a life.

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