Emergency situations often bring out the best in people and turn ordinary people into heroes. One man in Buffalo, New York proved that selflessness can come out during dire situations by helping to rescue someone else’s dog.
Earlier during the month of February, Don Chatten was out for a walk with his two dogs. It was cold weather, and he was approached by a stranger who was desperate to find their small dog who’d gone missing earlier that day. A little after 3 in the afternoon, Don decided to take his dogs back home. However, one of his dogs then alerted him to something in the pond at the Ellicott Island Bark Park.
Assuming that it was probably a duck that his dog had spotted, he didn’t think much of it.
As he explained to WWLP, Don said, “My dog Milo, he stopped and looked down at the water. I thought he was looking at a duck, or a bird, or something of that nature.”
Trying to get his dog in the car, Don began to meet some resistance.
Don explained, “I said ‘come on, let’s go,’ so I starting pulling him to go and get in the car, and they both stopped and looked again, and then I heard a faint whimper.”
Hearing this animal’s cry for help, Don went to investigate. That is when he spotted the missing black dog trapped in the icy water. Don knew that the dog, named Jackson, needed help so he called 911. However, worried that they would take too long, he decided to rescue the dog himself.
— Ed Reilly (@WKBWedreilly) February 15, 2019
That is when Don attempted to crawl out onto the ice to grab the trapped pet. Unfortunately, the ice was too thin and buckled under his weight – sending him into waist-deep water that was freezing!
According to WKBW, Don said, “I knew it wasn’t real deep in this part because I use to come here when I was a kid.”
Despite the frozen experience, Don managed to save Jackson and get him safely back to his owner.
As Don recalled, “I advised him to take the dog to a vet to be checked out.”
Jackson had to be treated for hypothermia and spent the night at the vet’s under observation. By the next day he was free to go home.
Don’s heroic acts were captured in photo stills by Samantha Kelly, who then uploaded them to Facebook where they went viral.
Don has received a lot of attention, being asked why he would go out of his way to risk his life for a dog that wasn’t his.
To this, he replied, “At first, I was like ‘Okay, what do I do?’ I was kind of panicked a little bit. But once I got down there, I said…well, it’s the dog or me getting a little wet. I didn’t want all this actually. But it’s good to get recognized for something, and I’ll do it again if it was tomorrow. I mean, I’m a dog lover, and I don’t want to see any dog get hurt, and I’m just glad that I could help.”
What a truly remarkable man.
You can watch the video below: