Good Samaritans rescue dog stranded on ice in New Jersey

January 27, 2014 5:50:27 PM PST
A dog stranded on thin ice needed a human helping hand in Trenton.

Worried onlookers spent hours trying to coax a dog named Duke to the shore after he wandered onto the Delaware River Sunday afternoon.

Two men decided to brave the ice, and used a canoe to pull Duke to safety.

Now he's safe, and his owner says she's thankful for the two men who risked their lives to save her dog.

"I didn't think. I just went out there and got him. We had the canoe in case anything happens," said one of the Good Samaritans, Russ Miller.

Trenton fire and police were called but opted not to do anything. After four hours in the frigid weather, animal control officials felt Duke had little time, so they called Miller.

Ciro Silvestri heard about the situation from a relative, and rushed to the scene.

"She said that the fire department isn't really wanting to do anything about it. They don't want to endanger themselves. If they are not going to do something I will," said Silvestri.

After police and fire had left, the two decided to make their move. Pushing a kayak, and using small steps on the rocky ice, they slowly made their way to Duke. 15 minutes later they were back on land.

Shortly after the rescue Duke's owner rushed to the scene in tears. Keonna Wilson says her dog escaped her backyard after being let out to go to the bathroom. A relative saw the dramatic rescue underway on Action News.

"We had been missing our dog for the last 3 days. I went to every animal shelter, everything looking for him. I was just about to put out flyers and then I got the call," said Wilson.

Ewing Animal Shelter officials say Duke appears to be fine, in large part to the two men who decided to cross the Delaware.

"I just want to thank whoever did it. I thank you so much for risking your life for the safety of my dog. and that he is ok and that the men are OK," said Wilson.

Authorities say what the men did was dangerous because they could have put other people at risk if they'd gone into the water or got stranded themselves. But in the end, a dog was saved and no one was hurt.