PLAYFUL pooch Frank had a lucky escape after plunging into a frozen pond.
Now Frank’s owners are appealing to other dog-owners to keep their pets on a lead near water as temperatures remain below zero — and never to try to rescue their animals if they fall through ice.
Veterinary nurse, Lisa Edwards, and her daughter, Isobel, aged three, were walking Frank in Queens Park, Bolton, when he bolted towards one of the ponds.
The cross-breed trotted to the middle of the pond when the ice gave way, leaving Frank scrambling around in the water trying to get out.
Terrified but knowing it was dangerous to go into the water after Frank, Mrs Edwards called the police for help.
Mrs Edwards, who owns the Queens Park Veterinary Surgery, in Chorley New Road, with her husband Stuart, said: “We were walking down in the wooded area of the park so my little girl could go sledging and Frank just ran down to the pond and onto the frozen water.
“He was trying to scrabble out but I couldn’t go in after him because people can die trying to rescue their dogs, plus I had my little girl with me. It was terrifying because my first instinct was to go in after him. The thing is I should know better because I work with animals. My husband, who is a vet, couldn’t believe it when I rang and told him what had happened.”
Officers called fire crews but by the time they arrived 18-month-old Frank had managed to climb out of the water.
He was taken to the family’s vet practice and treated for hypothermia.
Mrs Edwards, aged 40, said she hopes other dog-owners can learn from Frank’s close call.
She added: “You should never even risk letting your dog off the lead in these conditions. I should have taken my own advice. Luckily Frank’s fine and made a full recovery. We gave him a warm bath and dried him off and he didn’t seem to care. He’s such a hooligan.”
Firefighters warned people never to venture on to ice. Bolton borough manager, Ian Bailey, said: “Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has attended a number of incidents over the years where a dog has fallen through the ice — if it can’t take the weight of a dog, it certainly won’t take the weight of a person. Please don’t take the risk. Stay off the ice and if you are walking a dog keep it on a lead.”
For more on ice safety and other seasonal advice from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service visit safe4winter.com.