Stephen Rhine of the Roslyn Fire Department and Police Officer...

Stephen Rhine of the Roslyn Fire Department and Police Officer Bill Stio of the Emergency Services Unit stand by the Roslyn Pond, where they rescued a Golden Retriever in Roslyn, New York. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A golden retriever named Javier was fetched from freezing water Sunday evening by Roslyn Highlands firefighters and police officers from Nassau's Emergency Services Unit, rescuers said Monday.

The rescuers arrived at the pond in Roslyn's Gerry Park around 5:15 p.m. to find a small crowd of worried humans on land and Javier about 150 feet from shore, treading water and resting his muzzle on a piece of ice.

Walking with his owner, he had been chasing geese, said North Shore Animal League spokeswoman Devera Lynn, and likely fell through or off the ice covering part of the pond.

"He wasn't barking, he wasn't whimpering," said firefighter Stephen Rhine, who said he was unfamiliar with the signs of canine hypothermia but was nevertheless worried by the dog's silence.

Rhine and police officers Bill Stio and Robert Blum had changed into cold water immersion suits on the way over and they soon set out in a small rubber boat. They threw a noose around Javier and hauled him into the boat.

Rescuers on shore helped them up the pond's steep bank, and minutes later Javier was taken to the grooming dryer at North Shore Animal League. "It's almost like a spa," Lynn said. "The animal can sit and nice warm air will blow on him. A lot of dogs lie down and seem to like it."

Javier, whose owner didn't want to be identified, was treated and released.

Stio, in an interview Monday, said he had rescued a person before at Roslyn Pond, but Javier was his first dog rescue there or anywhere, and it felt good.

"It's a life," he said. "You're saving a life."

Latest videos