February 4, 2013
Firefighters rescue dog from frozen park creek
Bystander called police after seeing dog fall through ice.
By Carson Gerber
Tribune staff writer
Kokomo — Kokomo firefighters rescued a dog Sunday morning that fell
through the ice into Kokomo Creek after it chased a squirrel through
Jimmy Prestler, a 56-year-old carpenter who lives near the park,
said he stepped outside Sunday to get the newspaper when his beagle
cocker spaniel named Chancellor B. Skeffington, M.D., saw a squirrel
and took off chasing it.
“He’ll chase anything with fur or feathers,” he said. “But he always
According to the Kokomo Fire Department, a person driving through
the park saw the dog fall through the ice and stopped to help, but
was unable to save him and called police.
“I’m guessing the squirrel made it across the creek, but the dog
didn’t,” said Dave King, battalion chief with the fire department
who oversaw the rescue.
Firefighters arrived on scene at 8:47 a.m., where King observed
Chancellor struggling to get out of the frigid water and onto the
thin crust of ice. He said the dog was violently shaking and had
icicles frozen to his face.
Firefighter Derek Pounds, equipped with an ice sled and cold-water
rescue suit, slid out onto the creek and was able to snag
Chancellor. Pounds wrapped him in a blanket and dried him off.
Prestler said he wasn’t worried about his dog until he saw a police
car and two trucks stopped near the creek. When he went to see what
was going on, Prestler said firefighters had just retrieved
Chancellor from the freezing water.
“He was just shaking like a leaf,” he said.
Prestler said he’s had Chancellor — who he calls Chance for short —
for seven years after getting him from an animal shelter. The two
have a close bond, he said.
“I think I would have to get therapy if he didn’t survive,” Prestler
said. “Whenever I come home, it’s like seeing my brother after five
years. Chance just goes nuts every time.”
King said the dog likely would have died if he’d been in the creek
“It’s lucky someone saw what happened and called,” he said. “Had he
not seen him, the dog would have frozen to death.”
Prestler said he plans to thank the fire department with pulled-pork
sandwiches for saving his dog.
“They not only saved his life, they saved mine, too,” he said.
King said he understands the attachment between a pet and its owner,
and said he was glad Prestler got his dog back.
“It feels good to help out,” he said. “I’m sure it made his day.”
Prestler reported Sunday afternoon that Chancellor was wrapped in
the blanket provided by the fire department and doing fine.
Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached by
at 765-854-6739, or by email at