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Police officer risks life to save dog in frozen lake

Lewiston Police Department

Lewiston Police Department | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/18/22

And that was after Officer Smith had rescued an elderly woman from a burning house!

Officer Jonathan Smith came to the rescue of a Labrador retriever named Kona after the dog became stranded in a freezing lake in Lewiston, New York, while chasing a flock of geese, according to a report in Newsweek.

In a quite-literally chilling video, the police officer arrives on the scene, takes off his vest and gun belt and begins the precarious journey over the thinly covered frozen lake to rescue the 10-month-old puppy, according to the message shared by the Lewiston Police Department.

Without hesitation, [Smith] removed his equipment and went in after him, bringing him safely back to land and reuniting him with his owner.”

The police department also made a little joke about the daring rescue by adding to the post: “By the way, we gave him a 6 out of 10 on the landing in the beginning, but a 10 out of 10 for the rescue.”

The rescue took place on January 5, and the following day Police Chief Frank Previte posted an update of the rescue mission with an email he received from the remorseful owner. While it’s a little lengthy, it gives some insight into how Officer Smith, with little thought for himself, was determined to help the four-legged swimmer:

“A friend and I were walking our dogs off leash (guilty and remorseful) in Bond Lake Park. She is a 10-month-old Lab and usually stays close by the senior dog, but instinct kicked in when a flock of geese landed in the middle of the lake,”

“The afternoon took a horrible turn when Kona took off and ran … onto the ice and fell in where the ice ended and the water began. Although she is a strong swimmer, there was zero chance of her getting back out onto the ice, and she began to panic and tire quickly. In lieu of her being so far out, our remote location, the unpredictability of the ice (…I could see right through it) and the fact that I had recent back surgery, I called 911 and asked for the local fire department’s ice rescue team.

“Kona was already in the water for 10-15 minutes and very tired when three officers from your department pulled up to the scene, one being Officer Jon Smith. Without hesitation and any rescue equipment, Officer Jon Smith removed his vest and gun belt and cautiously made his way out onto the ice, monitoring the condition as he went. This was no close to shore rescue … she was far from shore. He was able to get close enough to grab 75-pound Kona and pull her to safety.

“Kona and I and everybody that loves her are extremely grateful for his selflessness and courage,” the owner wrote in the email. “You should be proud to have Officer Jon Smith as a member of the Lewiston Police Department. His professionalism and bravery should be applauded. … Kona and I will visit the police station soon to thank Officer Smith once again for his outstanding service.”

The mission does not really come as much as a surprise, considering Officer Smith had jumped to the rescue of an elderly woman in October 2021. While waiting for the fire department to arrive, the senior was stranded in the burning house, and Smith tackled the flames to save her.

Once more his colleagues couldn’t resist joking about the incident by posting on October 6: “Of course he was trying to keep this to himself, but that didn’t work out because we have numerous tattle tales among our ranks. Great job Officer Smith! You even made the firemen jealous.”

It seems that there is no temperature too high, or too low, to stop Smith from serving others. Yet what is particularly lovely about this story is the value he places on the lives of all God’s creatures.

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