Animals ‘Miraculously’ Saved From Frigid Waters

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BATH, Ohio-- Firefighters in Bath put their water rescue training to use – not once, but twice this week.  It wasn’t people, but animals that they saved from frigid waters.

Bobby rests comfortably under a heated blanket in the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Copley Thursday.

It is quite different from the way the 13-year-old border Collie started his day.

Bath dispatch received the 911 call around 8 a.m.  "My neighbor's dog fell through the ice on my pond and can't get out.  And, is the dog's head above water? At the moment it is, but it's struggling,” the 911 caller told the dispatcher.

Stephen Shultz was among the Bath firefighters who sprung into action when they saw the dog in the middle of the pond. "I got a rope, tied into it and started breaking into the ice to get to the dog.  Once I got to him, he looked very tired, was barely moving.  Hugged him from behind; held his head up, and the guys on shore pulled me in.” Firefighter Shultz said.

It's believed Bobby had been in the frigid water about 45 minutes. Veterinarian Megan Vassalo said his body temperature had dipped about ten degrees below normal.  It was feared he might suffer organ damage or a heart attack. “And, it's pretty amazing that given his age, he was able to fight and swim for that amount of time,” Dr. Vassalo said.

Sheran Dray, Bobby's owner, was unaware that he had gotten outside and had fallen into the neighbor's frozen pond. "And she told me how miraculous it was when the rescuer workers showed up. This is where I tear up. They suited up and went right in after him,” Dray said.

This is the second animal rescue for the Bath firefighters this week. On Tuesday, they pulled out a horse that had fallen into a swimming pool.  Firefighters said the horse spent about 15 minutes in the water before being rescued, but is expected to be okay.

The prognosis is good for Bobby, too. He will spend Thursday night at the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital for observation. If his temperature and vital signs check out all right, Bobby will be cleared to go home.

His grateful owner, the firefighters and the vet all agree -- for what he went through -- Bobby is some lucky dog.  "He has a will to live. I guess it was his day,” Dray added.