Dog falls through the ice at Park Meadows pond, saved in dramatic rescue |

Dog falls through the ice at Park Meadows pond, saved in dramatic rescue

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

A dog fell through the ice covering a pond in Park Meadows on Nov. 22, becoming trapped in the frigid water until what a witness describes as a dramatic rescue that likely saved the pet’s life.

The dog, said to be a Nordic breed, probably a husky, was OK afterward, a Summit County Animal Control officer who responded said. It was brought to a veterinarian to be checked, though.

Chris Ollerton, the owner of a company called Inline Tile, was at the scene just off Racquet Club Drive when it happened. He was at a job site remodeling a condominium when he heard the dog yelping and then saw it with its head sticking out of the water.

"We went into panic mode there," Ollerton said.

A person Ollerton was working with grabbed an extension cord and fashioned it into a lasso in an attempt to grab a hold on the dog. It didn’t work, Ollerton said, and they gathered three sheets of plywood, each measuring 4 feet by 8 feet. They put the sheets onto the ice, but the sheets started to break through.

As the rescue attempt was unfolding, the woman who owns the dog arrived, Ollerton said. He said they wrapped the extension cord around her waist and she was preparing to head onto the ice to save the dog.

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Her husband then jumped through the ice and into the water, Ollerton said. The man got the dog onto the plywood.

"I have two dogs myself . . . For years, my wife and I, the dogs are our kids," Ollerton said. "It was an overwhelming feeling — this dog can’t die right in front of us."

The Park City Police Department and an Animal Control officer were called to Racquet Club Drive at 11:44 a.m., with people at the scene reporting that the ice underneath the dog had given way. The person who called the authorities said the dog could be seen struggling in the water, Shellie Keetch, one of the Animal Control officers who responded, said.

Keetch and another officer rushed to the scene, arriving in 20 minutes. She said the dog had been rescued from the water by the time she made it to the site.

The dog had been in the water at least 30 minutes and the rescue saved its life, she said.

"It was very nice," Keetch said about the effort by the workers, adding, "The guys were really concerned. It’s nice to see people (do) that."

Keetch said the dog’s owner lives in the Racquet Club neighborhood. The dog was loose when it went onto the ice, she said. The owners were not ticketed for allowing a dog to be off a leash, she said.

The dog probably weighs 50 pounds, she said. The initial report to the Police Department indicated the dog was a black Labrador.

The owner brought it to a veterinarian to be checked, Keetch said.

John Artz, a veterinarian with Silver Creek Animal Clinic, where the dog was brought afterward, said the episode is the first of its kind he is aware of in his 2 1/2 years of practice in Park City. He did not treat the dog but was told of the case.

Artz said dogs should not be allowed to go into frigid water for swims, either. He said dogs in icy water can suffer hypothermia, a condition that also can afflict a person if they are in frigid water. The amount of time before a dog starts to suffer from hypothermia depends on the individual dog, Artz said.

"Dogs can stay pretty active in icy water for a while," he said.