Kokomo — Kokomo firefighters rescued a dog Sunday morning that fell through the ice into Kokomo Creek after it chased a squirrel through Highland Park.
Jimmy Prestler, a 56-year-old carpenter who lives near the park, said he stepped outside Sunday to get the newspaper when his beagle cocker spaniel named Chancellor B. Skeffington, M.D., saw a squirrel and took off chasing it.
“He’ll chase anything with fur or feathers,” he said. “But he always comes back.”
According to the Kokomo Fire Department, a person driving through the park saw the dog fall through the ice and stopped to help, but was unable to save him and called police.
“I’m guessing the squirrel made it across the creek, but the dog didn’t,” said Dave King, battalion chief with the fire department who oversaw the rescue.
Firefighters arrived on scene at 8:47 a.m., where King observed Chancellor struggling to get out of the frigid water and onto the thin crust of ice. He said the dog was violently shaking and had icicles frozen to his face.
Firefighter Derek Pounds, equipped with an ice sled and cold-water rescue suit, slid out onto the creek and was able to snag Chancellor. Pounds wrapped him in a blanket and dried him off.
Prestler said he wasn’t worried about his dog until he saw a police car and two trucks stopped near the creek. When he went to see what was going on, Prestler said firefighters had just retrieved Chancellor from the freezing water.
“He was just shaking like a leaf,” he said.
Prestler said he’s had Chancellor — who he calls Chance for short — for seven years after getting him from an animal shelter. The two have a close bond, he said.
“I think I would have to get therapy if he didn’t survive,” Prestler said. “Whenever I come home, it’s like seeing my brother after five years. Chance just goes nuts every time.”