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Firefighter rescues dog who fell through ice in Faribault

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Thin spring ice made for a scary situation at a Faribault dog park over the weekend.

Mea, a yellow lab, fell through the ice at the White Sands Dog Park and every time she tried to pull herself up, she'd break through the ice again, according to the Faribault Daily News.

If Mea would have kept with it, she would have eventually been able to break a path to shore, but Connie Glarner noticed she was getting tired – Mea's body was shaking as she tried to stay warm and afloat – so she did the only thing she could think of and called 911 for help, the newspaper says.

"The firefighter who responded said she was making noises they'd never heard out of a dog before by the time they got there," Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst told the paper.

After failing to bring Mea in with a rope, a firefighter went in after her. He donned a "Gumby suit" (a neoprene suit that covers the body and traps heat inside, while keeping the firefighter afloat) and crawled up on the ice patch where Mea was, but just before reaching the dog, he broke through the ice, the Faribault Daily News says.

The firefighter ended up breaking a path through the ice for Mea and helped her swim safely to shore.

Mea, who is doing fine, isn't the first pooch to break through the ice at the dog park. People have been posting in the White Sands Dog Park official Facebook group saying several dogs have fallen through the ice, but were able to make it to shore without assistance.

Mea's thin-ice scare is just another reminder about the dangers of melting ice. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been warning people for weeks to be wary of ice conditions as temperatures start to warm. Last week, the Coast Guard issued a similar warning after multiple rescues involving people trapped on ice floes.

Sunday's rescue wasn't the Faribault Fire Department's only animal rescue call this week. Just a few days later, firefighters responded to rescue a stray cat stuck in a tree, but when they attempted to get it down, the cat would just climb higher. KSTP says a tree company saw a neighbor's Facebook post and they came and got the cat down.

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It happened at a park in Eagan Monday afternoon.