A dog who slipped into an frozen duck pond escaped death after a team of 17 firefighters came to his rescue.
Published: 7:30AM GMT 31 Dec 2009
Matt - an eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel - ran across ice and tumbled into freezing waters in Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock.
As the dog struggled to escape, fire crews from Kilmarnock and a water rescue unit from Ayr raced to the scene after the alarm was raised.
Using ladders and specialist equipment, they managed to reach Matt and fish the shivering Spaniel out of the pond.
Matt had been taken for a walk by his owner's neighbours when the drama unfolded.
The firefighters were hailed as heroes by grateful owner Shelia Johnston
"I still can't believe one little dog caused so much fuss and had 17 firemen looking after him. I'm so grateful to all of them," she said.
"Matt came from the SSPCA's rescue centre at Cardonald so it's actually not the first time he's been rescued - but hopefully it will be the last.
"The vets have told me he's going to be fine. They put him under the heat lamp and hair dryer as soon as he arrived at the surgery.
"He had been out for a walk with my neighbours when he ran on to the pond and fell in.
"They were as delighted as me that everything turned out all right in the end."
Stevie Logan, Kilmarnock Fire Brigade's station commander, said: "The dog was in clear distress and had been in the water for some time when we arrived.
"He was trapped in a circle of water with ice surrounding it and couldn't get out.
"The people in this case did exactly the right thing by phoning us, and not attempting to rescue it themselves.
"Too many people have drowned trying to rescue their dogs, and although it is a hard thing to do to stand by and watch the dog struggling, we do have the specialist knowledge and equipment to carry out a rescue."