Rescues on the rise for animals falling into icy bodies of water

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DENVER -- In the past two weeks, crews have rescued multiple dogs and a deer after falling through icy ponds in the Denver metro area.

Dive and rescue crew members say to make sure pets remain safe, keep them on a leash and away from any body of water despite the appearance of a layer of ice.

If a dog goes onto the ice and becomes trapped, rescue crew recommend staying off the ice and calling authorities.

"The biggest problem with the dog on the ice is not the dog, but the owner that is going to go out and try to save their dog," dive team member Eric Balzhiser said.

"Our message is that if your dog is on the ice, call us, us being the dive team, 911, the fire department. We'll come get your dog so that you don't have to go out and risk your own life to go on the ice."

Because of the relatively warm winter along the Front Range, while it gets below freezing overnight, frequently, it's well above freezing during the day.

And with sunshine, there could be a layer of ice on any given body of water over night, but by noon, that ice becomes unstable.

With the wide fluctuation of temperatures between overnight and afternoon, some neighborhood ponds or bodies of water might not have as thick of ice as they have during previous winters.

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