The rescue mission was captured on the body camera of a responding officer
A Chicago man nearly lost his life trying to save his newly adopted puppy from the frosty waters of Lake Michigan.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was walking his dog Pika at Lincoln Park Sunday afternoon when the 9-month old American Eskimo mix ran down to the beach, the man explained in a statement shared by the Chicago Police Department.
Pika then slipped on the ice and disappeared over the ridge, the man said. The man ran to the edge to find the pup swimming in the water. Knowing Pika had a slim chance of survival, the man jumped in.
While he was able to get the pup to safety, he soon found himself trapped in the lake.
Moments later, emergency responders with the Chicago Police Department arrived on the scene to pull the man to safety after an eyewitness called for help.
The miraculous rescue mission was captured on an officer’s body camera and shared on YouTube.
In the clip, the man can be seen standing behind huge chunks of ice on the shore as policemen rushed to his side.
About five officers used their own bodies and a dog leash belonging to a bystander to lift the man out of the freezing cold water.
“He started yelling, ‘help me, help me,”‘ CPD Officer Miguel Del Toro said during a press conference, WGN 9 reported.
“We ended up crawling on our knees over the ice ridge to get to him,” Toro added.
Once the man was removed from the ice, he let out an exhausting sigh of relief.
“Take a breath man, you’re good man,” an officer can be heard telling the man in the video.
The man was then taken to a nearby police car, where he was reunited with Pika.
Following the incident, the Chicago Police revealed that both Pika and the man are doing fine.
In his statement, the man thanked the officers for saving his life.
“They absolutely saved my life and I will be forever grateful to them,” the man wrote.
“The first responders treated me and my dog in the ambulance and the emergency room. They allowed Pika to stay with me under the warming blanket in the ER. My core body temperature had dropped 93 degrees.”
“Pika and I are both fully recovered and in debt to our gracious and heroic first responders,” the man added.
Weather in Chicago has been frighteningly cold for the last several days. On the day of the incident, the temperature was 9 degrees. It has since dropped significantly. On Tuesday, the temperature reached 0 degrees and is expected to go down to -21 degrees by nightfall.
By Wednesday, dangerously cold wind chills caused by a displaced polar vortex are expected to drop temperatures in the Midwest near negative 30F and the wind chill could be as low as negative 50F or 60F — the lowest they’ve been in more than two decades, Weather.com reported.
As brutal and deadly cold pushes across the Midwest, veterinarians urge pet owners to not leave their dogs/cats outside for too long.
Like humans, pets can suffer from hypothermia or frostbite.
A pet’s ears, paws and tails are especially susceptible to injury. If you suspect that your pet might be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, take him to the vet immediately. Keep walks and outdoor time to a minimum during cold weather, and always keep an eye on your pets while they are outside.
Warning signs of cold-weather can include cracked paw pads or bleeding. Sudden lameness may be due to an injury or ice accumulation between toes or paw pads. You may be able to reduce the chance of ice-ball accumulation by trimming the hair between your pet’s toes.