Sam the Labradoodle Rescued From Icy Iowa River

The dog, 13, was struggling to keep his head above water.

— -- A good Samaritan who spotted a dog struggling to stay afloat in an icy Iowa river got the help of some firefighters, who pulled the pooch to safety.

Jerry Romine of West Des Moines said he was out walking his own dog Monday when he heard barking from under a bridge and then spotted Sam, a 13-year-old Labradoodle, struggling to pull himself out of the frigid water.

Romine told the Des Moines Register the dog's cries for help "made my blood curdle."

"The worst noise you could hear from an animal," he said. "Anytime I would leave and he couldn’t see me, that’s when he would start to panic and howl."

After multiple attempts to reach the animal with a rope, Romine flagged down nearby residents before calling 911.

Winterset, Iowa, police and fire departments responded to the scene and reached the stranded animal with a small boat.

Sam was brought to Winterset Veterinary Center, where a vet said he was in shock and "wasn't even able to shiver," before being wrapped in blankets and a heating pad and having hot blow dryers warm him up.

Sam's owner called to thank Romine and provided a photo of the pup resting at home.