Bloomington firefighters rescue dog from icy Minnesota River

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Bloomington firefighters rescued a female German shepherd after it went in the Minnesota River. (Bloomington Fire Department)

A crew of Bloomington firefighters rescued a dog from the icy waters of the Minnesota River Wednesday night.

Bloomington Fire Assistant Chief Laura McCarthy says at 5:11 p.m. a biker reported seeing a German shepherd go in the water. After a brief search, firefighters found the dog in the water near the old Normandale swing bridge.

A water rescue team made their way out across the thin ice and pulled the dog from the frigid waters.

“When we approached, the dog’s head was just kind of leaning on the ice shelf, so we knew it had been in there for a while,” said Pete Miller, the rescuer.

It's unclear how long the dog was in the river, but after wrapping the dog up in blankets, it appeared okay.

"It's always a great feeling to know they could help the dog," said Assistant Chief McCarthy. "Pets are often family members, so the firefighters were ecstatic to get it out safe."

Firefighters turned the dog over to animal control. It has since been reunited with its owner. Miller says he's glad the rescue went smoothly.

"The thing we always worry about, we don’t want to have two victims out there," he said. "We don’t want the owners to go out and try to save the dog because they’re going to end up needing a rescue as well."