MERRILL, Wis. (WAOW) — The Merrill Fire Department rescued a 150 pound New Foundland dog from the Wisconsin River in Merrill early Monday morning.
“I let Chief out the back door and all of a sudden he’s realized the invisible fence doesn’t work anymore,” dog owner James Locke said.
Locke says he didn’t realize the invisible fence was down either until the dog went missing.
“I hear some barks and whimpering down by the river”, Locke said. “I finally find this head sticking up out of the water by the shore. I was lucky to find him.“
After several attempts to rescue the dog himself, James decided to call 911.
“The dog was underneath an ice shelf and all I could see there originally was the dog’s head,” Steve Hintze, Merrill Fire Department Battalion Chief said. “The dog was becoming very tired and fatigued by the way it looked when we got the dog out of the water.”
Hintze says he believes the dog was beginning to suffer from hypothermia, but the dog’s breed and adaptability is ultimately what saved his life.
“Without them and their help I would’ve been standing there watching my dog drown and freeze to death,” said Locke.
Chief is expected to have a full recovery by the end of the day.