Steamboat Springs West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters crawled across a frozen pond Saturday to save a dog from almost certain death.
Hayden resident Vonnie Frentress spotted the dog in a pond along Routt County Road 65 while driving to town at about 10 a.m.
“I was driving to town and saw something black in the pond and another dog looking concerned,” Frentress said.
Frentress and neighbors Sheila Woodley and Charlene Barnes began looking for help and then called firefighters. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the dog in a portion of the aerated pond that was free of ice.
“It looked like one of the dogs had gotten out of the yard and wanted to go for a swim,” said Dal Leck, the Hayden firefighter in charge at the incident.
Firefighters Dan Parrott and Wayne DeLuca, who both have volunteered at the department for more than 20 years, put on dry suits in preparation for the rescue of the dog they thought was a black Labrador retriever.
“We went out and tried to give her a hand,” DeLuca said.
He and Parrott climbed toward the dog on ladders that had been placed on the ice to distribute their weight.
DeLuca got a piece of webbing around the dog and pulled it onto the ice.
“He looked like he was getting exhausted,” Leck said. “Maybe another 10 minutes and he would have been gone.”
The dog was dried off and warmed in the back of the rescue truck, and the owner of the dog arrived soon after.
“It worked like clockwork,” Leck said. “It was great.”
Firefighters would not release the name of the owner.