By Virginia Ransbottom
A large black dog was rescued from thin ice formed around Kalamazoo River Dec. 5 east of Saugatuck.
Allegan district firefighters were summoned by residents calling 911 around 10:45 a.m. when they heard the dog barking in distress.
Using a small rescue boat, firefighters wearing immersion suits accessed the river at Lane Street. Responders Chris Adrianson and Tyler Lampros crawled and waded in shallow water to the dog, who did not break through.
At first the dog shied away from the bright red “Gumby”-suited duo until discovering they had treats. The firefighters tied a nylon rope into a makeshift leash, which the creature at first rejected. Eventually it was administered and the dog gave in for a ride to back solid ground.
Fire Chief Nick Brink said the dog had no ID tag but was wearing a choke collar. The lab mix looked a bit malnourished to him and was taken to the Allegan County Animal Shelter for warmth, safety and food.
Brink said the department rescues about six or seven animals a year, most cats in trees — most recent of which attacked firefighters for their efforts. Thanks.