Tignish man thankful for firefighters who carried out risky rescue of his dog

Eric McCarthy
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Tignish firefighters crawl to the edge of the ice and then break through before rescuing a dog in peril Saturday afternoon. The dog had been in the water for an estimated two hours but the actual rescue took less than two minutes to complete.

Francis Fennessey's dog, Bailey, had fallen through the ice at Arsenault's Pond

TIGNISH — Francis Fennessey is thanking the Tignish fire deparment for an unusual rescue the firefighters carried out over the weekend.

Fennessey said his German shepherd-Rottweiler mix, Bailey, had gotten out of her collar Saturday. He had driven up and down the roads three or four times frantically calling for her and telephoned his sister to be on the lookout.

Meanwhile, Mill Road resident Roland Paynter had heard a dog in the vicinity of Arsenault's Pond but thought nothing of it. When he heard her again, he went to the pond to investigate. There he found Bailey, who had fallen through the ice and he alerted the fire department.

The two year-old dog was able to stand in the water and rest her head on the ice but was unable to climb up and out. She had been barking earlier but was not making much sound by the time the rescuers got near her.

Two members of the Tignish fire department donned ice rescue suits and crept out onto the ice of Arsenault’s Pond.

“The fire department had all the rigging and they knew what they were doing,” Paynter said.

Fire Chief Harley Perry said the rescuers had quite a hike through fields to get to the pond, bringing their rescue gear with them. The two firefighters fell through as they got near open water, about 25 metres from shore, said Perry.

He noted the firefighters were attached to rope lines. He estimated the water at that location was about three feet deep.

Paynter estimates about two hours passed from the time he first heard the dog until the rescue was completed.

Perry indicated the actual rescue, once the firefighters got in the water, was completed within two minutes.

“She was pretty happy to get out,” Perry said, noting she ran around a while before accepting a ride back to the fire hall in the rescue truck.

Fennessey's sister heard that the fire department was called to rescue a dog and contacted her brother, who wasted no time getting to the fire hall, still not knowing whether the rescue was a success.

Not only was it a success but the firefighters had her all toweled off and were feeding her chips and Cheesies. She has shown no distress from her time in the water, Fennessey said.

Geographic location: Tignish, Mill Road

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Recent comments

  • Sherry
    January 22, 2014 - 09:49

    Thank you for getting Bailey back to her owner and making sure she was ok... Great job to the people involved in her rescue, including the kind soul who called the FD. God Bless you all!

  • DogLover
    January 22, 2014 - 06:40

    Thank you to these brave men! Woof!

  • rick
    January 22, 2014 - 05:51

    Fantastic work firefighters, a great ending to the story. Thanks to the work you do every day.

  • caringgal
    January 21, 2014 - 16:37

    What a good news story.God bless the firefighters!!

  • joanne
    January 21, 2014 - 16:35

    where would we be without our wonderful fire fighters..kudos