By JAIME STUDD
Recorder News Staff
FULTONVILLE -- Members of the Glen Volunteer Fire Department braved the frigid waters of the Mohawk River Sunday in a heroic effort to rescue a dog who had become trapped on the ice just east of the Fonda-Fultonville bridge.
According to a news release from the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, Montgomery County Sheriff's dispatchers received a call at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday reporting that the animal had become stuck on a piece of ice that was floating down the river.
According to Glen Fire Department Chief J.D. Downing, emergency personnel first attempted to rescue the animal from the Fonda side of the river.
Downing said he and a fellow firefighter donned ice rescue suits provided by the Fultonville Fire Department and attempted to access the river bank via the sewer treatment plant access road adjacent to the Fonda Speedway.
As the pair were gearing up, however, Downing said the dog began to swim toward Fultonville, prompting the two would-be rescuers to get in their truck and cross the bridge.
Using ropes, Downing and his partner made their way down to the river bank, eventually wading waste deep into the water when the ice gave way.
"We were able to grab her and pull her up on shore," Downing said. "I carried her halfway up the shore and then the deputy met me and the deputy took over from there and a whole bunch of people helped get her over the bank because of the snow and stuff."
Downing said he last saw the dog wrapped in a warm blanket and loaded in the back of a truck as it was being rushed to Noah's Ark Animal Hospital.
Downing said he spent the remainder of Sunday afternoon inquiring as to its condition and also attempting to find its owner. As of Sunday evening, however, he had not heard word about either.
"The dog was alive when we pulled it out. Really cold, obviously. It had been in the water for quite a while," said Downing. "It didn't have any obvious injuries to it, but I have no details on how it made out or what."\
"I've been reaching out to everybody, but I've gotten no responses," he added.
Downing described the dog as black, weighing approximately 40 to 45 pounds and having Labrador features, but with long shaggy fur.
Downing also said the dog's name is believed to be Hannah.
Also assisting in the rescue were members of the Fonda and Fultonville Volunteer Fire Departments, off-duty personnel from the Canajoharie Fire Department, Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputies, officials from the Montgomery County Fire Coordinator/Emergency Management Office and GAVAC, as well as some good Samaritans, the release said.