Published Jan. 3, 2014 at 10:17 a.m., Updated at 3:11 p.m.
Four legs or two legs, the Coventry (Anthony) Fire District is making the rescue either way. For proof, look no further than Friday morning.
Around 9:30 a.m., firefighters responded to the Anthony end of Pilgrim Avenue after receiving a call from a bystander who reported a dog struggling in the frigid water near the Laurel Avenue Bridge. Upon arrival responders spotted the male German Shepherd, Dallas, submerged in the water after falling through ice.
According to Chief Paul Labbadia, firefighters Stephen Mann and Joe Hartman donned ice recovery suits and a rescue sled and proceeded to make their way to the dog. Two more firefighters remained onshore to examine him immediately. Labbadia estimates the shepherd was in the icy water for about five minutes before he was rescued.
Firefighter Jon Pascua said the rescue was made just in time.
"The dog was very close to going under for good," he said.
Pascua went on to report that the dog was certainly shaken after the incident, but remained calm and very friendly throughout the ordeal.
Chief Labbadia explained that the dog's owners, residents of Arbor Way, were contacted via information on his collar. They said the dog escaped when he spotted a deer and began chasing it.
The dog escaped without obvious injury and is expected to be fine, but his family planned to take him to Tiogue Veterinary Clinic to be sure.
"The BIGGEST THANK YOU to the Anthony fire district, rescue and police for saving our beloved Dallas from the icy waters off of Pilgrim Ave.," wrote Dallas' owner, Aarin Dyson in a thankful message to emergency responders Friday afternoon.