Note: The dog pictured above is NOT the one that was saved in the rescue. We were unable to get pictures of that dog.
On February 13th, New York State Trooper Christoper Spallone responded to a call that a dog was stuck on thin ice on a pond in frigid weather in Somers, NY. Upon arrival, he saw that the dog, a Lab named Shelby, was in distress, her body submerged in the water while she clung onto the ice with her front paws. If Trooper Spallone didn’t act fast, she surely wouldn’t survive. She had already been in that condition for ten minutes, according to the report.
Wearing no protective gear and equipped with only a life jacket on a rope supplied by the local fire department, Trooper Spallone grabbed a plank of wood and carefully crawled towards Shelby, acutely aware that the ice was thin under his body. Suddenly, the ice broke and Trooper Spallone was submerged neck high in the water. That didn’t stop him from making his way to Shelby.
Finally, he reached her, and together they made their way toward safety. Officer Dustin from the Somers Police Department and Somers Fireman Michael Cyrulik began pulling them back to shore but, another obstacle presented itself when the rope broke free of Trooper Spallone, leaving him and Shelby on their own, still out on the pond. Trooper Spallone tried hard to navigate the ice with Shelby but once again, the ice cracked and he found himself submerged in the frigid water.
Trooper Spallone and his dogs
Ignoring the pain in his arms – from both the breaking ice and being in icy water – Trooper Spallone carried Shelby in the water until he reached a thicker piece of ice. He pushed Shelby onto the ice and she ran to shore. Once he saw Shelby was safely on shore, Trooper Spallone began his trek back, still in the water. Suffering from hypothermia, he was just shy of reaching shore when he could no longer stand and had to be helped out by Officer Dustin and Cyrulik.
Trooper Spallone was whisked away to a nearby hospital where he was treated for low oxygen levels and given x-rays to make sure his lungs were clear. According to reports, Shelby’s owner was treated on scene for exposure. Trooper Spallone never even met Shelby’s owner. He doesn’t even know his name. Attempts by this writer to reach the owner were unsuccessful. However, Trooper Spallone doesn’t seek accolades. It was all in a day’s work for him.
There is so much negativity surrounding police and dogs in the press these days. But, without responders like Trooper Spallone, Shelby would have suffered a horrific death the day before Valentine’s Day.
“I respond to every animal call,” he said.
Spallone recently suffered his own loss when one of his three dogs passed away in January. Without him, a family would have been mourning the loss of their own dog.
Featured image via Pexels