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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Dog Owners Ignore Numerous Warnings

06/12/2010

Two more dog owners have disregarded warnings from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to keep dogs on leads and away from frozen water.

"To be called out twice in an hour to the same location is very worrying and what is even more concerning is members of the public are placing themselves in danger by entering frozen water to try and rescue stranded animals."

East Staffordshire Assistant Area Commander, Paul Cullen

On Saturday, crews from Burton and Tamworth were called to two incidents at the same location just an hour apart, where dogs had fallen through ice into the canal off Weston Park Avenue in Stretton.

The first call was received at 2.20pm to reports of a Springer Spaniel which was stuck in the canal after falling through the ice. On arrival, crews found that a member of the public had gained access to the canal from the opposite bank and pulled the dog free themselves. They were given advice by the crews on how to prevent similar incidents occurring and of the dangers of icy water.

At 3.20pm, the crew was called back to the same canal where a Golden Setter had fallen through the ice. On arrival, crews found that the owner had gone into the canal and rescued the dog.

East Staffordshire Assistant Area Commander, Paul Cullen said: "It is concerning to receive these calls given the numerous warnings we have issued across the county about keeping dogs on leads and away from frozen water.

"To be called out twice in an hour to the same location is very worrying and what is even more concerning is members of the public are placing themselves in danger by entering frozen water to try and rescue stranded animals.

"We understand that if you see an animal or person in distress you want to help and that’s why you should call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service. We have the proper equipment and trained staff to rescue people and animals safely; members of the public do not and are risking their lives in attempting such rescues."

Last week, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to five separate incidents involving dogs falling through ice across the county. This prompted the release of several warnings to keep dogs on leads and away from ice and advice regarding public safety around frozen water was also given.

Paul Cullen continued: "It appears our advice is being disregarded and although so far all dogs and people involved in these incidents have been ok, it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt as a result of entering freezing water."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s advice is if you see someone, or a pet, fall through the ice and get into difficulty, do not risk yourself by trying to rescue them, instead ring 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service immediately.