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Olathe firefighters rescue Wheaten Terrier from icy waters

Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 17:54:41-05

OLATHE, Kan.—Firefighters rescued a Wheaten Terrier from a frozen lake at the Lakestone Estates Friday morning.

The dog named Willow had been in the water for an unknown amount of time. Her owners Diane and Jerry Pollitt watched from the banks. 

“We were helpless, saying, ‘Please don’t let her go underwater,'” the Pollitts told 41 Action News. 

At 8:15 a.m., Willow and her 1-year-old brother Gilly left the confines of their backyard.

When both Wheaten Terriers didn’t respond to their owners' calls the search was on.

“A small voice told [Jerry] to look at another pond and he did,” Diane Pollitt said.

The Pollitts found Willow with her head above water as neighbors stepped in to help.

“We just kept talking to her while they were trying to get to the paddle boat on the other side of the lake. Trying to get it in there but it wouldn’t break the ice to get it in,” Jerry Pollitt said.

First animal control showed up, then firefighters. Kevin Hilboldt suited up and trekked into the icy waters.

“[Willow] was light enough to pick up and get out of the water without any extra assistance,” Hilboldt said.

He told 41 Action News the water wasn’t treacherous.

“The water was only probably about 12 inches, maybe two feet deep, but there was about three feet of mud underneath that and I was actually sinking into the mud and the dog was stuck in the mud as well,” Hilboldt said.

This was the first water rescue of the year for Hilbodt and his colleagues at Fire Station Five.  

“We had a 55-degree day yesterday. The water down here in Kansas, it doesn’t freeze over enough for people to be playing out on it or people walking on it especially people—animals as well. If a small dog is going to break through the ice obviously a person is, too,” Hilboldt said.