Michigan Firefighters Rescue Dog That Fell Through Thin Ice

The firefighters are seen on video gingerly walking onto the frozen White Lake.

— -- Firefighters in Michigan were seen on video risking their lives to save a dog that had fallen through thin ice.

When firefighters arrived at the lake, the dog was still barking and struggling to climb out of the water, but he was unable to grab onto the ice and pull himself out, according to White Lake Fire Chief Gregory Holman.

It wasn't long before the dog was ready to give up. He became "lethargic" due to the "conditions of the water and hypothermia setting in," Holman said.

"So we knew that we had to get out there," the fire chief added.

In the video, two firefighters from the White Lake Fire Authority in Whitehall are seen gingerly venturing into the middle of the lake. As the men get closer to the hole, one firefighter begins to crawl toward the helpless dog.

Once the firefighter secured the dog to a rope, he yelled, "Pull!" and crews on shore were able to safely tug the dog out of the freezing water. The firefighter was then seen carrying the golden retriever back to solid ground.

Holman said the fire department may not always choose to rescue every animal from thin ice.

"Looking at an ice rescue situation involving animals, if it's a deer, we're probably not going to endanger our staff and put them out on the ice," he said. "But for a family pet like a dog, we'll do our best to rescue 'em."

"It's a very good feeling" he said, adding that he hopes to unite the pup with his family.