Off-duty WDFW worker rescues dog trapped out on frozen lake

Eric Braaten with the dog he rescued.

GRANT CO., Wash. — An off-duty Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) worker rescued a dog trapped in a frozen lake on Monday.

Eric Braaten was driving past Banks Lake when he saw a shape out on the ice, trapped in a hole of freezing water. Braaten then drove 15 miles back to his house in Electric City, got some hip waders and a shovel, then drove back.

Other witnesses said they saw the dog out there for at least five hours.

The Coulee City Fire Department arrived to assist, as well as another WDFW worker with a boat. Braaten went out, breaking through the ice with his shovel as he approached the dog. By the time he reached the dog, she was too weak to get onto the ice on her own.

Braaten was able to get the dog onto the WDFW boat, and then to shore. One of the firefighters on-scene recognized the dog as Hazel, who belonging to homeowners at a local ranch.