COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ) -
A blind labradoodle is safe after falling into ice water Tuesday morning outside a home on Highway HH.
One of the dog's owners called firefighters shortly after 7 a.m. and said that the dog, named Maggie, was struggling to stay above water, according to the Boone County Fire Protection District.
The 70-pound dog was about 75 feet from the shore when crews arrived. An owner attempted to reach the dog in a flat bottom boat, which is not recommended.
“You don’t know how the ice is going to break. If you’re going to get thrown one side or the other and dump yourself out of the boat. And now we’ve got two victims in the water, a person and a pet,” said Asst. Fire Chief Gale Blomenkamp.
"Obviously people are very passionate about their pets. We understand that, but it’s a dangerous situation. Two-thirds of all drownings are would-be rescuers," Blomenkamp added.
Two firefighters used ice rescue suits and pulled the dog out of the water within 15 minutes of arriving.
"The owner of the dog, a veterinarian, immediately took the dog inside for a warm shower and to evaluate the pet," the department said in a statement.
The dog's owners denied a request for comment.
In total, the response took 32 minutes, according to the BCFPD, which is enough time for a pet or person to fall below the surface.
Dr. Christopher Sampson, an emergency physician with MU Health Care, said someone stuck in ice water could suffer a fatal injury in 30 to 90 minutes.
“Your body begins to slow down (in the water). You become very confused. And at that point, you can also run the danger of drowning.”
And with Mid-Missouri's constantly changing weather, Blomenkamp recommended avoiding ice completely.
“With the freeze-thaw that we get in Missouri, ice is never really safe for people to be on," he said.
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