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LETTER: Dog deserved at least an attempted rescue

'The chief and those men around him could have shown leadership, a little courage, and taken appropriate action to do a rescue,' says letter writer

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled 'Petition demands northern fire chief resign after dog drowns,' published Jan. 24.

I hear the fire chief’s reasoning in this matter, but you must realize the uproar, given it is one governed strictly by legal restrictions and not the Canadian spirit, which is always prepared to go beyond the normal.

In this case, a beautiful golden retriever was sacrificed by the decision of the chief. I wonder what resources could have been utilized. They talk of small boats and a canoe being available. Are they illegal to be put out on the ice even if tethered to the fire truck? How would they do a body recovery if a person clearly drowned?

This dog’s body was pulled out several minutes after it succumbed to the freezing water. Obviously, the water was not moving that fast or else the body would have been far downstream under the ice.

In this case, a prized animal was asking for help — an animal that would have sacrificed his life, as they always do, in times of distress. Normal, gutsy Canadians would have made, or at least attempted, a rescue.

Are you also implying that if a person were to wander on the ice and get into this situation, the rescue force would mill around with their (hands in their pockets) and watch this person possibly go through and drown?

Moving waters, freezing waters, thin ice, etc., are risks essentially in all of Ontario, Canada and North America. All resources and procedures to execute a rescue should have been thought out and equipped for generations ago. I cannot imagine this non-intervention rule being the governing law in any other jurisdiction.

In this case, lifeboats and, I’m sure, survival flotation vests, plus rope, ladders, warming facilities, etc., should have been readily available, and if not, shame to all concerned.

The chief and those men around him could have shown leadership, a little courage, and taken appropriate action to do a rescue.

I feel for the owners of the dog. Their loss is very tragic, probably unnecessary, and very sad.

Phil Thompson