Pierre Rescue Squad Pulls Dog From Missouri River Thursday Night

(KCCR) — The Pierre Fire Department Rescue Squad and other area first responders helped recover a dog from the Missouri River Thursday night. Pierre Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Paula Tronvold says units were dispatched just after eight pm to the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area located just south of the Oahe Dam. The dog was about 20 yards off shore…

“He was kind of sitting half in/half out of the water, hanging on to an ice shelf. We did deploy a couple of rescuers in Gumby suits, we had one make initial contact with the dog. Of course, all of our rescuers are tied off with safety rope with spotters on the shore to make sure everything is all right. We did take some our other rescue equipment out there. It turns out the rescuer was reach the dog. The dog was fairly calm was very nice and then assist him up off the ice shelf and on to a solid footing and then help him make his way back to his owners on shore.”
Tronvold says with changing weather is also changing conditions on the river which is a challenge for rescuers…

“Our river is so full of unknowns. Beautiful piece of water but it creates unique situations for us. You know, in the winter when there’s 10 to 12 inches of ice on there, it’s good but with the weather we’ve been having, you know, warming and some of our water flows, the ice is deteriorating quite rapidly and it’s very deceiving right now. There was quite a bit of slush out there and some very thin ice. Our rescuer was able to stay on top of the ice the entire way out but you could definitely see that there was some very thin spots as well.”
She says the dog’s owners did the right thing by not trying to rescue the dog on their own…

“We always appreciate the folks that do take our advice and call us and not try to go rescue them themselves, rescue the pet themselves because rescuing a human is harder than an animal. An animal has a little bit more stamina than a human does, especially in this bitter, bitter cold temperature of the water that exists right now.”
The Pierre Rescue Squad has now pulled two dogs and an injured goose out of the Missouri River this year. Assisting with the rescue was the Fort Pierre Fire Department, Stanley County Sheriff and South Dakota Highway Patrol.