Firefighters rescue dog from lake

Friday, February 22, 2008 | 6:34 p.m. CST; updated 4:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — A young dog got a very big life lesson when he was rescued by the Columbia Fire Department from Twin Lake this morning: Don’t go on the ice.

Firefighters arrived around 11:15 a.m. at Twin Lakes Recreation Area, 2500 Chapel Hill Road, to rescue Tigger, a 1-year-old pup who was attempting to pull himself onto a broken piece of ice in the middle of the lake, according to a news release from the Fire Department.

A firefighter was secured to a safety line and waded into the lake to retrieve the dog from the water. The firefighter wore a “Mustang suit,” a thermal wet suit with increased buoyancy, to stay safe in the cold water.

The rescue lasted just more than a minute, according to the release.

Tigger was uninjured and was returned to his owners, Shannon and David Hale of Columbia. Battalion Chief Gary Warren said Tigger was only in the water for five minutes.

Warren said this was not the first time an animal had to be rescued from Twin Lake.

“This sort of incident does happen often, in particular at Twin Lake,” he said. “Owners like to let their dogs run with no leash. Dogs like to chase geese onto the ice.”

Pet owners should use a leash when walking their pet around frozen and partially frozen bodies of water, according to the Fire Department. Warren said owners should never try to rescue their pet on their own.

“If their dog should go out on ice, we encourage owners or witnesses to call 911 so we can do the rescuing,” Warren said.

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