BATH TWP.,Ohio-- A day after they were rescued by firefighters from the freezing water of an ice-covered pond, two dogs are reunited with their owners and doing well.
Firefighters and police responded to a 9-1-1 call on Hametown road early Sunday after Matt Warnick says he and his family were unable to rescue the two dogs themselves.
"We let the dogs out in the morning time and then we came back in. I was getting breakfast and called for the dogs; they wouldn't come back. We heard the dogs. I heard some noise and thought 'man, that's not right' so I looked (outside) and didn't see nothing, went out the front looked in the lake and seen both dogs in there," said Warnick.
Zeus and Zoey were about 60 yards from the bank, according to Warnick, in the middle of the pond.
"We were going to try to get the boat but the ice is so thick; we tried to smash it with the oar and it was too thick. You just couldn't get through the ice," said Warnick.
Firefighters quickly arrived and, using special suits made for ice rescue, went after the smallest dog, Zeus, first.
"Definitely not something you want to attempt by yourself but with the right equipment it is a very low risk operation," said Scott Robinson, a firefighter and paramedic who was one of the rescuers going in to get the dogs.
"The smaller dog appeared to be a little less active in the water. We were concerned that it might not be doing as well as the larger, so went after that one first, retrieved the smaller dog first, were pretty well able to break our way through the ice to that one, then went after the bigger dog, brought it up on top of the ice," said Robinson.
The rescue operation was caught on a police officer's body camera.
Once out of the water, the dogs were put in a warm ambulance and taken to a local veterinary clinic where they were warmed with heating blankets and administered IVs.
On Monday, both were back at home with their owners and appeared to be fine.
"Eating fine, no problems, out playing around," said Warnick, who added, "Now we just have to keep them tied up because we are afraid that they are going to run off somewhere."
Warnick said they have had Zoey, the larger of the two dogs, for only about a year and a half.
The smaller of the two dogs, named Zeus, they have had for about nine years.
In that time he had never wandered onto the ice before.
Rescuers theorize the two dogs may have been chasing after something when they fell through the ice.
"Oh I was just so happy that they were available to come and rescue our dogs. It was a very critical situation and we are very appreciative of our bath fire department," said Barb Von Gunten.
"I was happy. Both of the dogs definitely looked like they were doing well. The owners were very happy to see the dogs out of the water and doing well," said Robinson.