City of Seward, Featured

Dog Rescued from Benson Lagoon

The Lagoon. Red oval shows dog's approximate location.
Benson Lagoon. Red oval shows where dog fell through the ice.

At around noon on Tuesday October 25, a group of Seward residents out for a walk on Chamberlain Road noticed a dog in the middle of Benson Lagoon. The dog had apparently fallen through the ice. It was keeping its head above the water, but it was not making progress towards the shore. The walkers recognized that the dog was in trouble. They called emergency providers and tried to encourage the dog to swim to shore, shouting “Come on! You can do it!” and whistling. The dog barked pitifully and continued to tread water, remaining in the center of the lake. No one could locate the dog’s owner.

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Deputy Fire Chief Robert Mathis and firefighters equipped with drysuits arrived within ten minutes, as other bystanders accumulated around the shore. While the firefighters were donning their suits, a bystander jumped into the lake and swam out towards the dog. Fortunately, he was able to bring the dog ashore without hurting himself. Rescuers bundled the dog  in blankets and packed it into the waiting Animal Control truck. It was in poor condition from the ordeal, and rushed to the Seward Animal Clinic. Dr. Matthew Hall treated it, and later released it to its owner. The dog should recover with TLC.

Deputy Fire Chief Robert Mathis would like to emphasize that it is not advisable to attempt a rescue by jumping into frigid water without protective equipment. “Our guys were equipped [for the conditions]. The individual could have been a secondary rescue. Fortunately, in this instance, everything worked out alright.”

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