PHOTOS: Owner claims dog rescued from ice - Fox 2 News Headlines

PHOTOS: Owner claims dog rescued from ice

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The owner of a dog who was rescued Tuesday morning after getting stuck on the ice in Jackson Harbor, claimed the animal on Friday.

The owner identified the dog during a visit to the shelter. 

FOX 32 News caught sight of the animal while AirFOX was covering the high-rise fire in the South Shore neighborhood, where three people have been critically injured.

SEE: 3 critically injured in South Shore high-rise fire

The ice was stable enough to sustain the dog's weight. The pooch was seen walking around, trying to figure out how to get back onto warm ground. He came close to the wall a couple times, but couldn't climb over the high wall.

The dog was stuck in the outer harbor, which does open to Lake Michigan.

"I just saw him out on the ice and I was calling, 'Lassie, come here, Lassie!' and I was just praying somebody would call," says Angie Warlick, an onlooker.

Somebody did call 911 and members of the Chicago Police Marine Unit and Chicago firefighters used tethers to crawl out onto the ice and move the dog towards land. 

"The difficulty is you don't know what the thickness of the ice is at every turn," explains Lt. Erroll Davis. "Some places are thicker than others. A marine diver could fall in at any time."

"One of our guys went out with a line and kind of corralled him closer," Nial Funchion says. "After he went past the threshold on the second tier, we just kept pushing him further and further, until we could get close enough to tranquilize him safely."

Animal Care and Control officers shot the dog with a mild tranquilizing dart which helped them get the dog under control. The dog was quickly placed in the back of a warm van and transported to the city's animal shelter.

For police and firefighters, it was a chance to practice ice rescue techniques which have been little needed the past two winters.

"It was a team effort," says Fuchion. "This was very good training for this marine unit especially in the wintertime. We have these things with human beings falling through the ice and getting them up. It's tricky but we did real good."

Vets at Animal Care and Control say the dog survived its icy ordeal in good shape. The city say the dog is a male shepherd mix about 1 year old. It wasn't wearing a collar and didn't have a microchip when it was found.

The owner was told to make sure the dog doesn't get loose again and the dog now has a microchip and current dog license.

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