An intrepid police officer risked his life this week to save a dog stranded in the frozen Erie Canal, and the entire rescue was captured on video.
After spotting the pooch in the icy waters, Sgt. Travis Gray of Ogden, New York, slowly proceeded to crawl to where the dog was trapped and rescued the animal, successfully pulling it to safety, Fox News reported. According to Gray, he decided to take matters into his own hands when he realized the gravity of the situation.
"I walked up on the canal path that runs along it and could see the dog down in the water," he said. "I called for the fire department but could tell this dog didn't have too much left in it, so I decided to see if I could grab it."
The courageous cop happened to have his body camera turned on, so the entire experience was captured on video. In the clip, the visibly panicked Shepherd-Rottweiler mix is shown to be nearly entirely submerged in the icy waters with only its head visible. According to an Animal Control official, the dog had been presumably in the waters for about 15-20 minutes before Gray came to its rescue.
Upon locating the animal in distress, Gray went down on his hands and knees in the darkness and, with the help of his flashlight, crawled out towards the dog on the fragile ice. The heroic rescue opeartion, which took place at around 2 a.m. on Monday, lasted no more than two minutes.
In the video, which was shared by Ogden Police Department on its Twitter page, the canine can be heard wheezing and groaning while Gray says reassuringly, “Hold on buddy, hold on.”
This morning at about 2:00 am, Sgt Travis Gray responded to the report of a dog that had fallen through the ice on the canal. At great risk to himself, Sgt Gray rescued the dog. The dog was exhausted and hypothermic but did recover. #OgdenNY #Spencerport pic.twitter.com/OH9uJnNAYM— Town of Ogden Police (@OgdenPoliceNY) February 25, 2019
As Gray described his brave rescue to Fox News, he reflected on the state of the poor dog and explained it was this that told him immediate action was needed and convinced him to venture out onto the fragile, frozen water alone.
"The way it was howling, its ears were covered in ice," he remembered. "I just decided to do it, I couldn't wait."
Ogden Animal Control Officer John Eeckhout told Fox News that EMTs treated the dog for hypothermia on the scene and wrapped it up in multiple blankets. The animal is reportedly doing very well but was quite cold and weak when pulled out of the water. As Eeckhout describing it, the dog was "lethargic, like a big ice ball."
In addition to Gray's efforts, the rescue was also possible thanks to a concerned neighbor who called 911 after hearing the dog’s cries. The pup was later taken to Ogden Animal Control who were able to reunite it with its owners after they called to report their dog was missing.