Whether it’s a human or their pet, rescuers need to act fast when alerted to someone falling through thin ice. Seconds count, and once the body passes into a state of hypothermia, a painful death is almost guaranteed.
After Hardy, a 9-year-old black lab, fell through the ice on a frozen river in Ashington, England, the local fire department was thankfully alerted in time to save the animal from drowning or freezing to death.
It took less than an hour after Hardy fell through the ice for rescuers to arrive on the scene and pull him to safety.
Had they not acted so fast, Hardy could have succumbed to the cold and died after his internal organs began shutting down. It’s important in the cold weather, even when an animal has not fallen through the ice, to monitor for signs of lethargy or frostbite on sensitive skin, like the tips of the ears or scrotum, PetMD reports. These symptoms go hand in hand with the onset of hypothermia and indicate an animal has already spent too much time out in the cold.
If you are concerned your pet is showing signs of hypothermia, such as paleness and shivering, along with lethargic movement, dry the animal off and wrap it with warm blankets as soon as you can. Give your pet warm liquids to drink, monitor their internal temperature with an oral thermometer, and call a veterinarian for further instructions.
After Hardy was rescued, he was whisked to a vet to be checked out. Fortunately, he was dried off and warmed up in time to avoid any long-term injury.
Watch Hardy’s thrilling (and chilling) rescue below!
Looking to have some fun with your pet this winter? Click the button below to read on and learn about some important winter weather safety tips that can help you and your pet get the most out of winter while staying safe.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →