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Watch this brave rescue of a Labrador stuck in an icy river

Hardy was helped to safety by the RSPCA and the local fire service.

An RSPCA inspector has mounted a brave rescue of a dog who had become trapped in an ice-covered river.

Inspector Jaqui Miller teamed up with the fire brigade on the edge of the River Wansbeck in Ashington to rescue nine-year-old Hardy, who had become trapped in ice on the surface.

“He had been out walking with his dog walker when he had run into the river not realising that the minus six degree weather we’ve had recently had frozen the water,” said Inspector Miller.

“His dog walker told us he’s so used to paddling in the river and the sea that he just bounded off hoping for a little swim.”

Hardy was stuck far out into the river for over an hour before the fire service tied a rope around Inspector Miller and sent her off onto the ice to retrieve him.

Inspector Miller said: “As I got closer to Hardy I could hear him whimpering and I kept calling back to him to try and reassure the poor dog.

“I managed to grab him by his scruff and help Hardy push himself up onto the ice. He must have been freezing because he didn’t hang around but scampered off towards his dog walker.”


Miller was then tugged back to the Black Close bank of the river, where she checked on Hardy’s condition. Apart from a small cut on his paw, he was absolutely fine, if a little chilly.

Inspector Miller wants owners to be careful with their animals around frozen water. If an animal does get trapped, she says owners “should never try and risk rescuing their pet themselves as they could get themselves into a dangerous situation”.

She added: “As a trained water rescue officer with specialist equipment, I was able to make an assessment that it would be safe for me to reach Hardy.”

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