A team of Virginia firefighters used a ladder to save the stranded dog

By Amy Jamieson
Updated February 05, 2016 09:23 PM

Where is Elsa when you need her?

A team of firefighters from Orange County, Virginia, could have used the Princess’ frosty powers on Feb. 2 when they rescued a dog trapped in an ice covered pond.

When a deputy with the county’s sheriff’s department first surveyed the scene, the large yellow Lab had broken through the ice and was stranded about 50 feet from shore, according to a Facebook post shared by the department.

“The Lab was standing in shallow water, up to his chest and surrounded by ice. As [the] deputy turned to walk back to the vehicle to call for help, the Lab started barking in desperation,” says the post.

Lake of the Woods Fire and Rescue was called and two firefighters arrived with rescue equipment. A ladder was extended onto the ice and firefighter Aaron Lovell donned an ice rescue suit, crawled onto the ice, and pushed the ladder toward the dog — and that’s when something unexpected happened.

“When the ladder tip reached the hole, Lovell crawled out the ladder toward the dog. As he neared the end of the ladder, the ice cracked and Lovell fell into the water,” reads the post.

Fortunately, the water in the pond was so shallow Lovell was able to grab the pup and get him to safety.

“Lovell helped the dog onto the ladder and firefighter Jeff Leibold and Deputies Broyles and Cutone, pulled Aaron and the dog to shore. The dog was soaking wet and violently shivering,” the post says.

The Lab was taken to a Lake of the Woods veterinarian office for emergency treatment, and, according to the Facebook post, the Lab is recovering well and was due to be released on Tuesday.

The pup’s family, who have not yet been identified, are no doubt thankful for the firefighter’s work, and so are people in Orange County and beyond who have heard about the rescue.

“Heroes!!!” reads one comment on the Facebook post. “Thank you for ensuring this helpless little one didn’t suffer and was saved. Gratitude and admiration from New Brunswick, Canada!”