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Woman falls through ice trying to rescue dog

By Jonathan Petramala, Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter, jonathan.petramala@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 19 2013 11:51:58 PM CST

A Colorado Springs woman and her Labrador Retriever recovering after being rescued from an icy pond.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A snap decision that probably too many people would make, could have cost a woman her life.

Witnesses say a Labrador retriever was chasing geese at Nancy Lewis Park, when the dog fell through the ice in the pond.  The owner didn’t hesitate to step out on the ice to try and save her pet.

“As soon as she bent over, that’s when the ice broke and she fell all the way in,” said Ashley Burkholder who witnessed the accident and rescue.

Colorado Springs firefighters were able to respond in less than five minutes.

“She was like I’m ok, I’m really cold…I’m like breathe slowly,” Burkholder said.

Firefighters were able to use a line to drag the woman out of the pond.  Soon after, rescuers in dry-suits pushed her pooch out of the frigid water.

“This time of year with the weather...temperature up and down...the ice tends to be fragile," said Lt. Will Polk.

 The unidentified woman was taken to the hospital as a precaution according to Lt. Polk.  The dog was playing fetch with firefighters soon after the rescue.

 Polk says this is a rescue call that comes in too often this time of year.

 “You going after the dog increases the chance that the ice hole itself will get larger and at that point you’re increasing the number of victims,” Polk said.

 Last January, 45-year-old William Tuttle died after rescuing his dog from an icy pond in Fountain.

 “Call 9-1-1, let the dive team come in and assist with the rescue,” Lt. Polk said.

 It is against the law in Colorado Springs to walk out on frozen ponds or lakes.

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