Dog Saved From Frozen Lake by Police and Good Samaritan

Burleigh County Sheriff's Department Patrol Deputy, Brandon Bellerud, represented the best among us during a recent call he was dispatched on. He was called to the local dam and reservoir for a dog that had gone through the ice on the partially frozen lake. 

Bella, a 6 ½-year-old corgi-red heeler cross, was chasing geese across the ice when the incident occurred according to handler, Sandy Kuch. "I saw her slide out on that ice and just jump into the water," Kuch said. Bella is owned by Kuch's son and daughter-in-law, but was on a trip to the dam, a normal occurrence for the two.

As the dog splashed in the water struggling, Sandy called local police for help.  "She swam back and forth, back and forth for I don't know how long, I'm thinking maybe 15-20 minutes," Kuch said. "Any longer and it could have been a disaster."

Kuch does not know how to swim and the depth was unknown at the time, so when Bellerud and Deputy Zach Bugbee arrived, they jumped into action. A Good Samaritan, Brad Kline, also joined the rescue effort. "He was like, 'I'm going to lay down, you grab my legs to make sure if I go in you can grab me,'" Bellerud said.

"We tried to find a way to keep everyone dry," Bellerud said. "But the dog being about 20 yards out, it was kind of hard finding a solution where you didn't have to go in." 

"The dog was exhausted," Bellerud said. "That was part of the issue -- the corgi would attempt to get on the ice, but could not get her back legs up." When he got close, he reached out and was bitten by the dog. "When she bit him, he just buckled," said Kuch, who had anxiously watched the scene unfold. "And the officer went straight down. It was like a cartoon, straight down in the water."

Luckily, the water was only waste deep. "The ice behind us ended up breaking" after that first attempt, Bellerud said. "I was able to grab him (Kline) and step back but he did go in a bit." Bellerud made his way back to look for a tool to break the ice in hopes, Bella would swim back. He also looked for heavy gloves to avoid being bitten. Kline was able to use the gloves to grab Bella and bring her back to shore. 

"They came out soaking wet. I was in such shock. I don't think I even thanked them." Later Kuch would write all the men thank you letters for their heroics in saving Bella from the dangerous situation.


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