Dog trapped under ice on Lake Michigan survives

January 3, 2013 5:21:14 AM PST
Rescuers, a Chicago man and his dog Zeus found out firsthand how dangerous the conditions on Lake Michigan are this week.

Zeus is once again king of the beach Wednesday evening, one day after he was rescued from these same frigid waters.

"He's like a family member," his owner Chris Roberts said. "I've got a daughter, my wife, and our dog."

It was around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening when the Siberian husky's owner Chris Roberts removed Zeus's leash to let him stretch his legs.

"I didn't see him, so I started getting worried. And I started screaming his name, and I got no response. And then I heard him barking," Roberts said.

Zeus had fallen through the ice about 70 feet from shore.

Roberts, an Iraq War veteran, set foot in the water but it was simply too cold.

"It was like a hole right there," he said. "And I could see water splashing up behind him. And he was crying."

Roberts called 911 and the Chicago Fire Department dive team arrived quickly. The team could hear the dog but did not see him. By that point Zeus had been in the water for 30 minutes.

"The waves had built up like a berm of ice, so we couldn't really see past that big ice shelf that was out there," Department District Chief Ron Dorneker said.

Divers finally spotted Zeus, pulled him to safety and warmed him up in an ambulance.

Roberts was given a $35 ticket for taking his dog off of a leash.

"That's a lesson. Keep your dog on a leash," Roberts said.

These types of rescues are common when the weather first turns cold.

Recently a dog had to be rescued from a frozen pond in St. Louis and was given oxygen after the ordeal.

Divers in Michigan rescued a canine that had fallen into Lake Erie in December.

"The ice is beginning to form on all these lakes and the ponds and the lagoons. And we like to tell people no ice is safe ice," Dorneker said.