BATH, Ohio - A 13-year-old border collie named "Bobby" spent an estimated 45 minutes in a semi-frozen pond before Bath Township firefighters rescued him Thursday morning.
The dog was treated for hypothermia at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital and was covered with a heated blanket while receiving a warmed IV treatment on Thursday afternoon.
Around 8 a.m., Victor Simonetta noticed Bobby, a neighbor's dog, struggling after falling through some ice in a backyard pond on Spring Valley Road.
"He was trying to get out, but as time went on, he swam less and less and you could see he was getting fatigued," Simonetta said.
He called 911 and Bath Township firefighters hurried to the frigid waters. Stephen Schultz put on his ice rescue suit and went to work.
"I got a rope, tied into it and started breaking through the ice to get to the dog," Schultz said.
Other firefighters pulled Schultz and the pooch to safety, a rescue that took about five minutes.
"It felt good. The dog looked happy that I was there. He appeared to be exhausted and just wanted to get out," Schultz said.
Bobby' owner, Sheran Dray, didn't realize her dog had left her yard until a neighbor called to inform her of the dramatic rescue.
"She told me how absolutely miraculous it was when the rescue workers suited up. This is where I tear up. They just suited up and went in right after him," Dray said.
Dr. Megan Vessalo monitored Bobby throughout the day and said the dog's body temperature had dropped to 91.6 degrees. The normal temperature for a dog is around 99.5 degrees. Vessalo said she was surprised an older dog could handle so much time in icy water.
"It's pretty amazing, given his age, he was able to fight and swim for that amount of time," Vessalo said.
Dray visited the Bath Township firefighters on Thursday afternoon to say thank you.
"It's just amazing that a person would risk their own life to go in after our dog," Dray said.
Firefighter Kamp and police officers Wolf and Gabel also assisted in the rescue of the dog. Bobby should be released from the animal hospital on Friday.
The Bath Police Department posted details of the rescue and a photograph to their Facebook page .
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