Eagle County official rescues stranded dog | VailDaily.com

Eagle County official rescues stranded dog

Daniel Ettinger, manager of Eagle County Animal Services, waded into the icy Eagle River to rescue this dog, which was stranded on ice after chasing a deer into the river.

EAGLE — If a dog is man's best friend, an Eagle County animal services manager is this dog's best friend.

Daniel Ettinger, manager of Eagle County Animal Shelter and Services, waded into the icy Eagle River to rescue a dog stranded on some ice in the middle of the river.

Ettinger was on his way to the animal shelter to start his work day after dropping his kids at school when he got the call.

An Eagle woman was fostering the dog, looking for a permanent home, and she let the dog off its leash for a morning romp on some local Bureau of Land Management land. The dog bolted to chase a deer. Although she tried to call the dog back to her and called for immediate help, it chased the deer into the Eagle River, Ettinger said.

The deer made it through the river, but the dog didn't and was stranded on ice and rocks in the middle of the frigid water.

The dog's foster and her family were looking everywhere for it, and they finally called the Eagle Valley Humane Society and Eagle County for help.

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Chris Pope was walking his dog — on its leash — when he heard the stranded dog whimpering and barking. When he saw the stranded dog, he called 911.

Ettinger said he went straight to the scene and spotted the dog, running back and forth on the ice and rocks in the middle of the river, looking for some way off the ice. Because it was important that the dog get off that ice and away from the cold water quickly, Ettinger waded into the river, scooped up the dog and carried it to the banks of the Eagle River.

The dog was in the animal shelter for only about a half hour before its happy foster family came to pick it up, Ettinger said.

As for Ettinger, he said he put on some dry clothes and went about his day.

The dog now has a forever family.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.